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Fair calls for volunteer organizers

By Elizabeth M. Jones

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

The Olmsted County Fair Board is looking for some help for this year’s festivities. But be forewarned: It’s a big job.

Four people are needed to help with the fair, which runs from July 28 through Aug 3. Two positions are superintendents, one for the fine arts department and one for the hobbies department.

"Superintendents are pretty important people," says Sue Pries, secretary for the Olmsted County Fair Board. "They work closely with the Fair Board."

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Duties for the superintendents would include setting up before the fair, supervising entry day, arranging displays, helping with judging and awarding ribbons, and tearing down the area afterward.

Most of their work is done during the four-week period before and during the fair, Pries says. "In the fine arts especially we need them to have some knowledge on the different kinds of art." Hobbies, she says, includes a wide range of categories to deal with.

The other two places available are with the fair board itself. "We had a member resign so we’re looking for someone to complete the term," Pries says, and the other position is for a space rental coordinator.

After completing the current term, which ends in November, Pries says that the board member and coordinator would run for the positions at the annual Olmsted County Agricultural Association meeting. If elected, the new term for the positions would last three years.

The board member would help with setting up pens and display areas at the fair, and the job includes a good deal of physical labor.

Similarly, the position of space rental coordinator requires a good deal of walking and involves contacts with the vendors who come to the fair. The coordinator would also need to be computer literate.

Both the coordinator and board member positions require membership in the Olmsted County Agricultural Association, which costs $1. Though both positions do most of their work around fair time there are also monthly meetings they would need to attend.

There are also regional and district meetings, as well as a state convention in January, though Pries says they are not part of the requirements for the positions.

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For all four positions the compensation is fairly minimal, but Pries points out that there are other, larger benefits involved with helping out.

"It’s a great thing," she says, "being out at the fair and seeing people and being involved. I think once someone’s involved with it they’d never want to get out of it."

To learn more or apply for any of the positions, contact Pat Hurley at 259-2787, Nate Redalen at 282-8051, Len Griffith at (507) 533-6767 or Sue Pries at (507) 775-6839.

For more information, go to Postbulletin.com/weblinks.

Olmsted County Fair http://www.olmstedcountyfair.com/find.html

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