July proved to be a very busy month for the newspaper and for our staff. Every year I think our calendars will open up a bit in the summer, after the school year comes to a close and the last sports team finishes its season. However, each year I am reminded that our communities really come to life during these summer months.
In Harmony, the early part of July was busy with our annual Fourth of July festivities and then a week later the community hosted the Fillmore County Relay for Life. We, at the newspaper, did preview stories, took photos at the events and wrote follow-up articles regarding these celebrations. It’s actually wonderful to devote our newspaper space to photos and articles that celebrate our community and showcase what we have to offer.
The Fillmore County Fair dominated our reporters’ and photographers’ calendars for a week in July. There were 4-H judging contests, grandstand events and casual candid photos to take. We took turns walking through the carnival and livestock barns, snapping photos and talking to the many people who were enjoying a day at the fair.
I went to the fair on Friday afternoon and enjoyed the end of the beef show and the short, but fun, llama show. It was a beautiful day to be at the fair, with mild temperatures, sunny skies and a nice breeze. There was a good crowd on the grounds, with many in the pavilion watching the 4-H members show off their beef projects and llamas.
I had intentions of taking more photos after the livestock shows were over, but I pulled a rooky reporter mistake and went to the fair with an almost-empty camera battery. To my defense, the work camera was fully charged, but I had handed that over to our summer intern to use for her fair assignments. Using my personal camera, which I carry in my bag at all times as a backup, it didn’t occur to me to check the strength of the battery.
So, I didn’t get many candid shots and kicked myself as I walked out of the barns, with a dead camera, and saw a pair of girls leading their goats outside. The goats were a bit spirited and the girls were laughing. That image was only recorded in my mind, but the experience reminded me I need to check my own equipment before heading out on assignment.
I think it was the best crowd I’ve seen at the fair in the past several years. I think the “fair” weather made for a perfect day for many county residents to come out and enjoy the fair festivities.
August will prove to be just as busy as July with community celebrations in Lanesboro, this past weekend, and Chatfield Western Days this coming weekend. Then, next weekend, it will be Spring Valley’s turn to show its stuff during Ag Days. There really is no reason to stay home with nothing to do when the communities are throwing their celebrations!
Soon, as the days go by so quickly in the summer, it will be time to preview the area sports teams and introduce new teachers as the school districts prepare to go back to school. Then, the calendar pages will fill up with school events, games and contests.
I apologize for racing through the summer calendar and urge you to disregard my passage of time. August has just started and there are many, many days to enjoy before the school year begins. Check out the upcoming community celebrations and enjoy the festivities being organized by dedicated volunteers and business owners.
Take one day at a time and find something special to do to make the most of each of the remaining days of summer!
Speaking of the best
Every year the Bluff Country Newspaper Group holds its “Best of Bluff Country” contest where readers vote for their favorite local events, leisure activities and restaurants in several categories.
Following last week’s suggestion to use social media for the good – posting positive reviews and reactions for local businesses and attractions – I wanted to remind readers that voting for your favorites in our “Best of Bluff Country” contest can also help your favorite businesses be recognized for what they do well.
There are several categories to vote in. The contest asks readers to share where they get the best burgers and fries to favorite dessert locations. Scenic views, campgrounds and farmers markets are also included.
The contest ends at the end of August, so make sure to get your entries in by then. One can also vote online at www.bluffcountryreader.com. A copy of this year’s ballot is included in this issue.
We have so many wonderful places to visit in our corner of the state and so many local establishments provide great customer service and delicious food. We have comfortable places to stay and beautiful places to play – whether it be golfing, fishing, hiking or swimming.
Let’s make sure to recognize those who work hard to enhance our quality of life here in Bluff Country.