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Rugby’s Village Fair expanded

By Staff | Jul 28, 2017

The 32nd annual Village Fair, featuring pioneer demonstrations -- like cooking in the cook car, goes into full swing 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 13. A Saturday Night Pre-Party starts at 6 p.m. Aug. 12 featuring music by Wild Hands, beer tasting by Souris River Brewing Co. and food by Henry’s 90-Wt Ribs & Brisket.

Rugby’s Prairie Village Museum is kicking off its annual celebration with a Saturday Night Pre-Party featuring craft beer tasting, barbecued ribs and brisket, and music by bluegrass/rock/folk band Wild Hands. The all-ages pre-party starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. The museum’s 32nd annual Village Fair opens at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, featuring pioneer demonstrations, live music and traditional fair food.

Saturday night attendees will have a chance to learn about and sample a variety of craft brews made by Minot’s Souris River Brewing Co., dine on Henry’s 90-Wt Barbecued Ribs & Brisket, and enjoy “original North Dakota music” by Wild Hands band members Max Patzner, Joe Andrus, Nick Holwegner and friends.

Featured on the Prairie Public Television series “Prairie Musicians,” Wild Hands performs nationally and is releasing a new three-part record series “Growing Like a Weed.” Wild Hands will return to the Village Fair Sunday, appearing in rotation with traditional Dixieland band Dakota Dixie of Minot and Metis fiddler Jim LaRocque of Belcourt.

“Music sets the tone of the Village Fair,” says museum executive director Cathy Jelsing. “Our goal is to provide a musical flavor of days-gone-by that contemporary audiences will enjoy.”

Jelsing expects another big draw at this year’s Village Fair will be new acquisitions to the museum’s collection being unveiled a couple days prior to the fair. “I can’t announce yet what the acquisitions are or how they came to us, but I think people will be excited to see the items and learn the story behind them.” The artifacts will be on display in the museum’s Old Main gallery.

Also on display in Old Main gallery will be a traveling exhibit on World War I supported by a World War I and America grant. In conjunction with the exhibit, collections manger Stephanie Steinke is providing fair attendees with free scanning and electronic copies of personal historic documents and photos. She is especially interested in items related to WWI and other military conflicts.

Fairgoers strolling the boardwalk will find a preacher preaching in the church (9:15 a.m.), cooks baking in the cook car, a seamstress sewing in the dress shop, blacksmiths hammering in the blacksmith shop, kids tending animals by the livery barn, and Arlene Johnson and her miniature horses giving cart rides on the Village green.

A harmonica “choir,” made up of the more than 30 kids who participated in the museum’s “Traders & Trappers Rendezvous” will perform “Oh Suzanna.” They’ll also dance “The Red River Jig” and share a few words about what they learned at this year’s Museum Camp.

Tanner Lind will be demonstrating printing in the village print shop. Julia Petrovic of Slavic Heritage Farm will have goat’s milk soaps and salves for sale in the summer kitchen. Gerald Harmel will be handing out nails to all challengers at the Hamerschlagen stumps. And visitors can view artwork by adult and children’s art workshop participants on the second floor of Silva School.

Food service begins at 8:30 a.m. with KZZJ-KKWZ’s annual pancake breakfast. Beginning at noon, Friends of Prairie Village Museum will be serving pulled pork sandwiches, freshly grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and Polish sausage, German potato salad and Calico Baked Beans. Visitors will find a variety of other treats throughout the Village including Juneberry ice cream, root beer floats, homemade pie, popcorn and sarsaparilla.

A two-day Village Fair pass is $10 for adults/seniors. Admission for one day is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors, veterans and college students; $3 for kids 7-17; and free for kids 6 and under. Geographical Center Historical Society members and active-duty military attend for free. For the complete fair schedule visit www.prairievillagemuseum.com.

The Village Fair is sponsored in part by the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Pierce County Endowment Fund, Rugby Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, and Northside Lounge, Rugby.

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