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Village Fair expands to two days; Aug. 9-10

By Staff | Aug 1, 2014

The Prairie Village Museum’s annual Village Fair has been extended by a day this year, and event organizers hope people will jump on the bandwagon.

The museum is hosting, for the first time on American soil, a gathering of the Western Canadian Wheelright’s Association. For two days, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 9 and 10, the group will demonstrate making wagon wheels the old-fashioned way, with wood, iron, fire and water. The first day will be a mini-fair, with the Wheelrights, the Friends of the Museum serving burgers and hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and performances by the Dakota Playboys of New Rockford.

“This is the first time in a long time the Village Fair has been two days,” said museum director Cathy Jelsing. “I just hope people come out, especially if they’ve never been here before. They don’t know what they’re missing.”

Fairgoers will also be treated to new and improved exhibits. In Old Main, fairgoers will get to see two new exhibits, “Wash Day” – a collection of materials used in laundry from years ago – and a Geographical Center of North America exhibit. In the Almquist building, fairgoers will get to see and name a ’40s beauty shop. Repairs and improvements have been made to several buildings, including a new porch on the Gronvold house and a repainted and revamped telephone office.

The fair is not without its staples. Pastor Nathan Steen will lead an all-faiths church service on the morning of Aug. 10, followed by a hymn sing in the church at 10:30 a.m. Fairgoers coming in in the morning can also enjoy a pancake breakfast. Edie Wurgler and Vicky Harmel will entertain thirsty fairgoers in the saloon, and kids can learn from a teacher in the school. The Sons of Norway Odin Lodge will sell sweets, including lefse and rommegrot, and Friends of the Museum will be selling burgers, hot dogs, taco in a bag, Philly cheesesteaks and potato salad. The Rugby Eagles Auxiliary will be selling pies, and smoothies, root beer floats and Pride Dairy ice cream will also be for sale. Baked goods can be found in the cook car, and fairgoers can learn how butter is made from the creamery.

Thirty kids start the museum’s camp Monday, led this year by Leah Peterson of the Bell Museum in Minneapolis. The students’ work will be displayed at the fair. The campers will learn of how agriculture changes landscapes, the effect indigenous peoples had on the landscape and the importance of bees. They will also look at bones, skulls and plant specimens, and will have the opportunity to dress as pioneers and talk about what drew people west.

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