Weather Forecast


An incredible fair

It was, in a word, incredible.

Just a few days after the June 17 tornado hit Wadena and decimated the Wadena County Fairgrounds, the Ag Society was already confirming they planned to hold a fair anyway.

That seemed like a bit of a longshot at the time. After all, half of their buildings were destroyed, and their entire grounds were littered with debris from the community center, bus garage, businesses and other sources. The grandstand was totaled. Tree debris covered the area. Not only would debris have to be removed, but buildings inspected, ultimately torn down and hauled away.

It was a tall order, to say the least.

And to expect an all-volunteer group to clear the grounds and prepare for a huge event -- all with little to no budget -- seemed impossible.

But then the incredible happened.

We're not sure how they did it, but little by little, day by day, there were all kinds of people who showed up to deliver on that promise to have a fair. Fair board members. Local 4-H kids. Other 4-H kids from all over the region. Volunteers who were not affiliated with the fair at all. Even Sentence to Serve crews -- despite being a victim of their own actions, their work at the fairgrounds was stellar, and they should be proud.

Everyone did an incredible job.

And we really needed a fair. Six weeks after the big storm, with plenty of other storms and rebuilding worries, we needed a break, a chance to see our neighbors and get our minds off everything.

What we could have reasonably expected was a scaled-down fair, just a fraction of what it has been. But what we received was a first-class affair, with no corners cut.

Again, it was incredible, and far more than we had a right to expect. To the Fair Board and everyone who made it happen, you deserve immense praise, and now hopefully a little bit of a break before the job of rebuilding the fairgrounds for the 2011 gathering gets underway.

You have our respect and praise.

The Wadena Pioneer Journal editorial is the collective voice of the editorial board. Today's piece was written by Steve Schulz, editor and publisher.