Notes from the Chief – 6-12-2013

by Chief Pete Gehring

This coming weekend the Village of Colfax and the surrounding community will be celebrating the start of the summer season with the 94th Annual Colfax Free Fair, at the fairgrounds located on Railroad Avenue.

 This is a great opportunity for everyone to think young and enjoy the atmosphere of a small town county fair. For the young it is a new and exciting adventure, for the young family it is a great event for the entire group to enjoy together, and for the older people it can take you back to your youth and the thrills you remember. This is a major opportunity to meet and greet all the people you never see often enough because everyone goes to the fair. Kind of like a reunion of old friends and family. This type of social event could not be duplicated in a big city. Here the local organization food stands, the animal barns, merchant building and craft displays, along with the nightly music and entertainment have gone unchanged for many decades. This year the fair will once again be sponsored by the American Legion and the Village of Colfax, with help from the Volunteer Firemen’s Association and the Kiwanis Club of Colfax. There will be many other church, school clubs and civic groups involved in making this a fun filled event. From the stage shows, to the midway, from the fireworks to the dance floor, there are activities of interest for everyone of every age.

There are a lot of area people who enjoy going to a small town fair. Combine that with the local people who come in support, and we find an increase in traffic and pedestrian activity. Some of these visitors are not sure where they are going and may be driving slowly looking for the right route. Pedestrians and bike riders come in all ages and are not necessarily aware of traffic hazards around them. The excitement of getting to the fairgrounds quickly clouds good judgment for young children running between vehicles and into the streets. Please be thoughtful in your driving habits and patient with those who don’t know our town as well as we do. Be cautious at all intersections and drive slower than you would normally drive, especially near the fairgrounds. When you are parking your vehicles remember that emergency vehicles are large. They may need to get to a fire hydrant, or to a patient that needs care. The lane that runs behind the food stands and through the center of the grounds has been designated as a fire lane and parking is not allowed there. Stay away from driveways, crosswalks and fire hydrants. Park on the correct side of the street and don’t block another vehicle in.

This week is for enjoyment and not worry. Lock your vehicles and keep track of your keys. Don’t leave valuables unattended and in plain view. Set rules and curfews for young children and keep track of where they are at all times. If problems should arise, contact the Colfax Police Department or the Dunn County Sheriff for police, fire and ambulance services at 715-232-1348. Remember to thank all the people who put so much effort into making this event a fun time for Colfax.