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Village Fair returns to entertain for 28th year

By Staff | Aug 2, 2013

Caye Bednarz explains the joys of a one-room school teacher during the Village Fair at the Prairie Village Museum

Whether you’re interested in ethnic culture and food, like hearing some rock or bluegrass music or just crave a Philly cheesesteak, the 28th Annual Village Fair has it all.

This year’s fair, on Sunday Aug. 11 at the Prairie Village Museum, features the sounds of fan favorite rockers Selective Memory, the Arctic cultural tour of Stina Fagertun and Catrine Pederson and a cornucopia of other tastes, sounds and sites.

The day will start with a pancake breakfast and an all-faiths service in the museum’s Zion Lutheran Church at 9:15 a.m.

Each of the three featured acts take the stage twice from 11:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., when the fair concludes.

In between, there will be a number of pioneer demonstrations and children’s activities.

Children relive old-fashioned laundry days during last year's Village Fair.

“The Village Fair is a great family event because the music and activities appeal to all ages and because its held in such a charming location,” Prairie Village Museum executive director Cathy Jelsing said. “From tiny tots to great grandparents, everyone seems to enjoy spending time at the museum.”

Selective Memory has strong ties to Rugby. Formed out of the ashes of the band The Wonders of Confusion, the group features Terry Brenno, Kurt Eylands, Colleen Jelsing and brothers Carl and Brian Weimer.

The band, which features rock from artists like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, will also feature Twin Cities guitarist and Garrison native Jan Stroup.

Also featured is string band The Roughriders, playing everything from traditional bluegrass to country and original tunes.

“I think what people look forward to most is the musical entertainment,” Jelsing said. “It’s so much fun to hear music played outdoors on open stages. However, I’ve also heard people say they enjoy ‘eating their way’ around the village.”

Listeners enjoy performers at the bandstand during the Village Fair.

The food will be both interesting and plentiful at the fair, with standards like burgers and cheesesteaks available as well as ethnic fare like German potato salad and Norwegian specialties rommegrot and lefse.

The crowd will get a healthy dose of Norwegian culture from Stina and Catrine, award-winning Arctic storytellers.

The Village Fair is a fundraiser for the museum, but Jelsing said she tries to provide good entertainment at a low cost.

“The Village Fair does generate some income for the museum, but it’s not the big moneymaker some might expect,” she said. “It’s an expensive event to produce and we strive to keep the gate admission affordable for all. What profits remain after we pay our bills goes to general operating support.”

Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for college students and seniors and $3 for kids ages 7-17. Although some seating is available, those who attend are asked to bring their own lawn chairs.

Jelsing said the fair couldn’t happen without grants and donations from a number of businesses and organizations.

Supporters of this year’s fair include the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Iberdrola Renewables, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Rugby Community Endowment Fund, Pierce County Endowment Fund, Rugby Eagles Aerie #3834, the Rugby Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shopko Foundation, and members of the Geographical Center Historical Society.

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