Off The Editor’s Desk – 7-18-2018

It’s County Fair time!

I spent a couple of hours last month in Colfax and had lunch at one of the food stands during the annual run of the Colfax Free Fair. People were getting ready to display their prized creations during this local event.

Summertime is Fair Time and it is family fun time.

I can remember as a youth, anticipating the annual County Fair in Glenwood City. It was held for just three days in August and those three days were Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. And, it rain almost every day. But us kids all got together and spent our summer savings on rides and eats. The day after the fair was the day we all scoured the fair grounds attempting to find a penny or nickel that had been dropped on the ground and lost.

But the fair is more than a time for youngsters, it’s family time and a time to gather together in friendship and enjoy a great wholesome event that every family member can enjoy.

The St. Croix County Fair is underway this week in Glenwood City, while the Dunn County Fair in Menomonie is set for next week and the Pierce County Fair in Ellsworth runs from August 9 through the 12th. Plan to attend the fair in your county and I know you will have a great time.

Speaking of fairs, I will again take part at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul at the Minnesota Newspaper Museum. If my memory serves me right, this will be my 25th year of participating at the Museum. It is located in the 4-H building on the northeast side of the fairgrounds.

The Newspaper Museum displays how a small weekly newspaper was printed back in the 1930’s. As you enter the museum you quickly sense the smell of printers ink and hot lead and hear the machinery running. Up and running will be a couple of Linotypes, a newspaper printing press, job press and a crew that can answer most of your questions about printing, plus a veteran newspaper editor is on hand to talk about newspapers and their impact on our history.

It takes about 100 volunteers to run the exhibit during the 12 days of the state fair. Last Saturday, we had a training day for new volunteers that wanted to learn how to operate the printing machinery with about a dozen new volunteers that had signed up to get involved in the operations of the museum.

Last year we entertained over 20,000 visitors at the museum and added a new element to our exhibit. Three young ladies with printer’s ink in their blood created a poster supporting the First Amendment of the Constitution. About 4,000 of these poster were printed and given away to all visitors that requested one and it was a very popular item. This year we are gearing up to print about 10,000 of a new poster. These could become a collector’s item as once the printing is done the form is taken apart and no others will be created.

I have a copy of the poster done last year, framed and displayed in the entryway of our office in Glenwood City and in the office at the Colfax Messenger. My schedule is not yet fixed at the museum, but I will be there from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on about eight days of the fair including the first two days, August 23 and 24.

Thanks for reading! ~Carlton 

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