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Safe summer activities abound for Rugby visitors, residents

By Staff | Jun 11, 2020

The cancelation of favorite summer events for Rugby has left residents and visitors searching for fun, safe ways to enjoy all the area has to offer.

Last month, the Pierce County Fair Board announced the cancelation of the 2020 Pierce County Fair. Two weeks later, the Rugby Lions Club announced they would cancel this year’s Music in the Park season.

Some events are still on tap for summer, however, according to local officials.

Yolanda Schmidt of the Pierce County NDSU Extension said members still plan to hold their county fair activities without the fair and with some modifications.

The 4-H club’s cow pie and chicken bingo fundraiser “is still on, even though our Achievement Days have been postponed,” Schmidt announced in a 4-H post on social media.

The two-day fundraiser will be held virtually, with a live broadcast of cows and chickens “making deposits” on grid squares representing a bingo card. Games will be held June 26 at 6 p.m. and June 27 at 1 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 each, or three for $25.

Schmidt said people interested in purchasing tickets should call the NDSU Extension office for Pierce County at 776-6234. “The courthouse is still closed to the public until the end of June,” Schmidt explained. “The staff in my office and myself are working remotely. So, they can call the office to purchase tickets or to set up a time to purchase tickets or they can contact any 4-H family they know of.”

First prize for the cow pie bingo winner is $300, while the second place cow pie bingo winner gets $150. The chicken bingo game has a single cash award, with the grand prize winner receiving $250.

“It’s been very successful,” Schmidt said of the fundraising game, which along with Achievement Days, takes place around the same time as the Pierce County Fair.

“Some of those funds will be used to cover judges’ fees like in a horse show, livestock show or poultry and rabbit show, decorations or things like that,” Schmidt said. “Also, extra funds would be used to provide scholarships for 4-H camp and also to purchase educational materials. For example, we have several educational trunks that our 4-H members can check out from the office. We currently have a horse trunk, a beef trunk, a sheep trunk, a poultry trunk and a rabbit trunk. We also have a crop trunk. That’s just an idea of the things we use the proceeds of the cow pie and chicken bingo for.”

Schmidt said 4-H’ers will still have a chance to exhibit their animals and projects in a modified setting in August.

“We are still planning to hold a modified version of our Achievement Days,” she noted. We will not be able to have it at our normal time at the end of June, but we’ve tentatively set dates for August fifth through seventh.”

“Most likely,” Schmidt added, “what’s going to happen is families will set up appointment times to bring in static items for judging. This will probably happen on the fourth. Then, on the fifth, they’ll be judged by a committee. Most likely, that will be extension agents. There will not be any interview judging. The following day, after judging is complete, the families would come back by scheduled appointments to pick up their exhibits.”

Schmidt noted, “For our livestock exhibits, there will be a trailer show, so those that have animal exhibits would come with their trailers and stay with their trailers. They would bring out their animals when the judge comes by to judge, then they would leave.”

“We have to make sure that we are taking the health and safety of our community as seriously as possible,” Schmidt said. “We have to follow the guidelines set forth by the North Dakota 4-H and NDSU.”

Other summer activities set for 4-H youth include a virtual camp, organized by state organization headquarters in Fargo and a “Rube Goldberg” challenge for members to produce complicated (and humorous) mechanical methods to accomplish simple tasks.

“There are tons of opportunities,” Schmidt said. “Our North Dakota 4-H Youth Development (program) has put together a lot of virtual opportunities. So, if (families) want to follow the North Dakota 4-H Youth Development and 4-H Foundation page, there’s a lot of great virtual activities that kids and families, whether they’re in 4-H or not, can participate in.”

Pierce County residents and visitors of all ages have opportunities to enjoy the fresh air at the Rugby Golf Club and summer Rugby Car Club cruises. The Rugby pool is also open this summer, with rules in place to address safety during the pandemic. Rugby’s Prairie Village Museum opened June 1 for visits four days a week during the summer.

Rugby’s annual Fourth of July parade will give spectators an opportunity to enjoy the summer safely as well, according to Laurie Odden, executive director for the Rugby Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We’ve already decided we’re going to go ahead with the Fourth of July parade. I want everyone to start thinking about what they want to do,” said Odden. “They can get their floats ready. There’s no reason people can’t social distance and have a parade. I think we’ve proved that parades are something safe. We’re looking for some fun things people can do that day other than just the parade.”

The parade will begin at 1:30 on Friday, July 4.

Odden said a 5K run/walk event was another possible event for the weekend of the Fourth. “If it’s not the day of the Fourth of July, maybe leading up to that event.”

“Another thing (the chamber) has talked about is still doing Crazy Days this summer. We have that set for July 16. We’re working on fun things that are going to help us with that,” Odden said.

Crazy Days is an annual sale event held by Rugby merchants.

“We just want to encourage people to come to a small town,” Odden said. “Come see what we have to offer. I think many people, when they come to Rugby, don’t realize all the things we have.”

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