In the early evening of Thursday, Aug. 8, there will be only one place where area residents will be able to find an assortment of classic tractors, a Reading Tree and a therapy pony.

The final Preston Family Fun Night of the summer will feature this and much more from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the "lower" Main Street south of the Fillmore County Courthouse in Preston. Sponsored by the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce and organized by Trish Keating of JuliaClaire Repeat Boutique, the Fun Night is in its second year of providing safe and fun entertainment for families and venues to spread awareness for businesses and organizations.

"It's improved from last year," shared Keating. "We have more businesses and organizations participating and greater attendance." That increase is largely due to an increased variety of things to do at the Fun Night. Keating also said the move down to Main Street helped out. "It's contained all in one area. It makes it safer and easier to attend." The switch to Main Street occurred after the first Fun Night this summer when there were concerns about safety in kids crossing streets. Locating all the activities in one place has also helped people see for themselves how much is going on.

The August Fun Night will bring back a few things from July, but there will be new activities going on as well. Musical entertainment will be provided by Preston residents Jerome and Sharyol O'Connor, who will play and sing old-time music in minstrel fashion by walking around the entertainment area. Kids will have several opportunities to win prizes.

The Cub Scout's Pinewood Derby track will be set up in the street and anyone can enter a car they have made according to Pinewood Derby rules. JuliaClaire is selling pre-made derby cars for $5. All they need is a creative paint job and they can be entered into the derby. Prizes for first, second and third place will be given out, which will include four tickets to the Minnesota Zoo from KFIL Radio and a stuffed gorilla from JuliaClaire. On July 17, kids participated in the derby and Keating said she expects there to be more this time around. The derby is free to sign up.

Kids will also be able to compete in sack races put on by the Fillmore Central ECFE. Books will be given away at that event as well through a drawing at the Preston Library's Reading Tree. A well-known Preston resident will be reading stories to children under the tree at the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn.

Everyone who feels like they are in a winning mood can try the Team JuliaClaire bingo game. All proceeds from the Bingo will go toward the Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.

Businesses throughout downtown will be open and have specials running during the Fun Night. Keating explained the Fun Night will help promote business organizations because people will be more likely to remember what is offered. Even if they don't buy immediately, they may in the future.

"We're letting people know we are here," Keating said.

The Fun Night could bring many different groups in to Preston. Showing off their classic tractors will be Darwin Smith, Bob Maust and other collectors. Anyone who has a restored classic tractor is encouraged to bring it as well.

Skip Meyer's Farmers Market will also set up shop on Main Street and other produce vendors are encouraged to come as well. There is no cost to set up a booth. Anyone interested in setting up can call (507) 765-2399.

Brats and hotdogs will be sold by the Fillmore Central Falcons' volleyball team and the Preston Art Board will be selling ice cream sundaes as well.

Face painting and balloon creations will be put on by Nancy and Dave Gardner.

The National Trout Center will have a demonstration and Preston Foods will have a mural for kids to color during the night.

Lisa Stensrud of Fillmore County Physical Therapy will be bringing Misty, the Hippo therapy miniature horse and guiding her around to people.

The Preston Area Fire Department will have a fire truck available for exploration.

Visitors will also be able to meet Cathy Enerson from the Preston Economic Development Authority.

There will be an Avon booth where one can get free samples.

"It gives an opportunity for families to participate in something together," said Keating about the final Preston Family Fun Night of the summer. "There is something they can all find interesting."

Looking forward to next year, Keating said she hopes more businesses and organizations will jump on board and there will be even more to offer.