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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gray Matters: Marcus Fair

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Now that the highly successful Cherokee County Fair is history, the action is moving to the western edge of the county. The 72nd Annual Marcus Community Fair, scheduled for Aug. 7-10, is fast approaching. I believe the Fair Board, a diligent group of volunteers chaired by Rod Ogren, has been hard at work ever since the 71st Fair ended a year ago. That's the kind of effort it takes to achieve success.

There are many others putting time and effort into this event, as well. Class and Family Reunions at fair time increase in number each year. One example is the 40th Reunion of the Class of '68. Looking back, committee members realized that some of their fondest memories revolved around the local band started by Chuck and Dick Nielsen and others, which eventually became The Charades. Chuck Nielsen, Mike Hoover and Denny Delaney, surviving members of that great group, have agreed to return for a reunion to resurrect 'the good old days.' As there seemed to be conflicting arrangements for appropriate facilities on the fair grounds, the committee has ingeniously set up the Charades' Reunion at the Grand Meadow Heritage Center open air barn with stage and dance floor, for Friday evening, Aug. 8, starting at 8:00 PM. Everyone is invited!

Rural fairs are the descendants of Harvest Festivals which have been observed since the dawn of history. A fair wouldn't be a fair without the agricultural exhibits. That's where all of you come in, not just Marcusites but all area residents.

A fine group of younger women has started a very active and innovative Garden Club, and are encouraging everyone to start looking through fields, flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, and canning projects. Beyond that, both adults and young folks are urged to search out their nicest sewing and crafting results and sort through art and photography projects for fair entries. The more there are, the greater the success of this beloved event!

A very special feature of this year's Marcus Fair is the appearance of the Westernaires, a precision riding group from Jefferson County, CO. Thanks to Nancy Hier, who is, herself, Marcus' own 'national treasure' (Oops, I'd better watch it. About the only thing that really annoys Nancy is being praised, even when she richly deserves it.) She has twin granddaughters, Anna and Jessica Hissem, who ride with this special group. Their parents, John and Rebecca, are also involved as adult volunteers. The logistics of taking care of forty riders, their chaperones, as well as the mounts, tack and costumes, is mind-boggling. They will be giving two performances on Saturday, August 9. The first is scheduled for 1:00 PM. They will then ride in the parade at 4:00 o'clock. Their final show is scheduled to follow the Open Horse Driving Competition that evening.

Before the construction of permanent buildings, the Fair was housed in tents. Procuring and erecting them was a major service project of the Rotary Club. So I learned, soon after my marriage, of the tremendous effort that went into all of that. In addition to helping, on site, my late husband provided the trucks and manpower to transport those tents to and from Sioux City. It was automatically expected for me to become involved, so I have fond memories of those long-ago home-talent pageants written and produced with my late friend, Louise Niemann. Now, in their turns, the next generations are doing the heavy lifting in admirable fashion,

I can scarcely wait to see you at the Marcus Fair, August 7-10. Admission is free and a great time will be had by all!