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Area briefs: Fireworks banned on Upper Mississippi refuge

Riverboat Days returns to Wabasha; Winona County Fair names new Hall of Fame members for 2021.

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The Winona County Historical Society's Rural Heritage Museum will be open July 8-11 during the Winona County Fair. (Courtesy Winona County Historical Society)
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WINONA — With July 4 here – and people ready to show their patriotism with rockets' red glare – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reminding people that fireworks are banned on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Fireworks disturb wildlife with their bright explosions and noise, and the litter they create can be hazardous to wildlife and fish. For example, the abrupt lights and sounds are often seen as a threat by nesting bald eagles and easily startle great blue herons and other colonial nesting birds.

The shock of fireworks can cause wildlife to flee, ending up in unexpected areas or roadways, flying into buildings and other obstacles, and even abandoning nests, leaving young vulnerable to predators. Litter from firecrackers, bottle rockets and other explosives can be choking hazards for wildlife and may be toxic if ingested.

The refuge, which stretches from Wabasha to Rock Island, Ill., includes shoreland, waterways and most islands in that zone. For a map of the refuge, visit

Winona County Fair honors 5 new hall of famers

WINONA — Five individuals will be new inducted into the Winona County Fair Hall of Fame this year. Each of the honorees will get a day of the fair in their honor.


July 7 will be Don Andring Day. Andring, from St. Charles, has served as the fair’s electrician for many years. Andring's day will be followed by days to honor Verna Gerdes of Dakota, who has been involved with the fair since 1954; Arnold “Dale” Moger of Altura, who is a charter member of the Altura Lions Club and won the Winona County Soil and Water Farm Family Award in 1992; Bernard McNab of St. Charles, who was runner-up for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year award, and was active in civic and government roles; and Marjorie Stock Day of St. Charles, a longtime 4-H and fair leader.

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2021 Winona County Fair Hall of Fame inductees form left, top row; Bernard McNab, Arnold Moger, Verna Gerdes, bottom row; Marjorie Stock, Don Andring. (Contributed photos)

Each of these individuals exemplifies the best of Winona County – whether that be volunteering in their communities, serving the fair, representing agriculture or being an integral part of the business community, according to a statement from the fair board.

Rural Heritage Museum to open during Winona County Fair

WINONA — The Winona County Historical Society's Rural Heritage Museum will be open during the Winona County Fair.

The museum on the Winona County Fairgrounds in St. Charles includes an exhibit building, the historic Gainey-McCarthy Schoolhouse, the Hill sisters' log house and an early log barn. The museum focuses on pioneer and agricultural heritage of Winona County.

Jill Veerkamp from the St. Charles Public Library will read Minnesota and farm stories several times per day. And tickets will be sold for a quilt raffle, the drawing for which will take place Dec. 6.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the fair, July 8-11. For more information, visit .


Riverboat Days comes to Wabasha at end of July

WABASHA — Riverboat Days returns to Wabasha July 30-31.

The two-day event features food vendors, beanbag tournaments, kid's activities, local vendors, Grumpy Fishing Tournament and more. The Little Wing Band will perform at Meet Me Under the Bridge beginning at 7 p.m. July 30. Meanwhile, the Bear Creek Band will perform at Heritage Park at 8 p.m. July 31. Other highlights of the festival include the Fireman's Water Fight and a 5K run, 2.5K walk on July 31.

For more information, visit .

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