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Dyrstad named Minnesota County Fair Person of the Year

George Dyrstad’s daughter, Kathy, accepted his award, the Minnesota County Fair Person of the Year, from the Minnesota Fair Board. (Contributed)

In 1965, a Russian performed the first walk in space. Both the Sound of Music and Mary Poppins premiered. The Beatles came to Shea stadium. The AstroDome was opened, and the Pillsbury Doughboy appeared.

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The year 1965 also was noteworthy because George Dyrstad of Alexandria joined the Douglas County Agricultural Association.

He has been active on the fair board as a manager since that time, 49 years ago.

Last weekend, he was saluted for his service when he was named the Minnesota County Fair Person of the Year at the Minnesota Fair Board convention in Bloomington.

During his tenure with the fair, Dyrstad did just about anything asked of him, according to Douglas County Agricultural Association Secretary Dale Buchholz.

He participated in the design and construction of many of the buildings on the grounds.

Recently he served as ticketing manager, off-season storage manager and customer satisfaction analyst for the Douglas County Fair.

“He has consistently been an advocate for our fair’s visitors and a staunch supporter of county fairs,” Buchholz said.

Buchholz added that Dyrstad has not only committed time and energy into the county, he has also been a member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the local FFA chapter, the Kiwanis Club, the Alexandria Toastmasters, the Runestone Museum, and the board of directors of both the Midland District Managers Association and the Northwest Petroleum Association.

After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1945 through 1947, Dyrstad married on June 29, 1948. They’ve been active members of First Lutheran Church of Alexandria since 1949.

Dyrstad wasn’t able to attend the presentation so the award was accepted on his behalf by his daughter, Kathy.