Keeping county fair traditions alive

Thumbs Up: The Douglas County Fair is in full swing with a jam-packed schedule of events for all ages and interests. This is an event that doesn’t just happen on autopilot. It takes a tremendous amount of planning, coordinating, volunteering, promoting and creativity in presenting the Great Douglas County Get-Together. We salute the Fair Board, its hard-working volunteers and fair sponsors for putting on such a top-notch event year after year. The fair continues through Saturday, Aug. 21. The gates open at 8 a.m. daily. If you’ve never been to the fair before, take some time to have some fun. Take in interesting exhibits, see who won prizes, watch a kids’ tractor pull, munch on a corn dog, dance to live bands, go on a ride, watch 4-H students show off their animals and projects, pull for your favorite performer in the Douglas County’s Got Talent contest, or simply stroll the Fairgrounds and meet up with friends you’ve waited too long to see. Oh, and stop by the Echo Press booth under the grandstand for special membership deals or to pass on a story idea. See you at the fair!

Long-time Legion members

Thumbs Up: Those who dedicate almost their entire lives to a good community cause, such as the American Legion, deserve a mountain of gratitude. Alexandria American Legion Post 87 Commander Allan Gerlach recently announced the names of Post 87 members that have earned plaques for continuous membership. Those who earned the 75 year plaques were Veron A. Olson and Larry N. Gasperlin. Those who received the 60 year plaque were Ralph L. Hornberger and LeLand C. Johnson. The following received the 50 year plaque – David J. Benson, Donald J. Borgmann, Scott W. Fee, James A. Meyer, William H. Schroeder, II and Franklin W. Swenson. The entire Alexandria area community should join in the American Legion Post 87’s salute to these individuals for their continued service and dedication to the American Legion.

Bad driving habits

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Thumbs Down: Bad driving habits seem to be on the upswing in Alexandria. We’ve seen and heard many complaints recently about drivers who are messing up the traffic flow. For starters, drivers who are exiting the Fairgrounds and making a right turn onto Third Avenue are failing to realize they have the right-of-way when the traffic light is green. Instead, they wait for the drivers turning left, which presents a problem for the left-turning traffic because they know they don’t have the right-of-way. The result is kind of like a hesitant game of chicken, with no one daring to cross the intersection first. Another pet peeve are drivers who fail to signal when changing lanes; drivers who do not stop at uncontrolled intersections (when two vehicles enter an uncontrolled intersection from different directions at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left is supposed to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right); drivers who think they have to yield to traffic when making a right turn onto Third Avenue from Nokomis Street; and perhaps the number-one complaint – drivers who go too fast or too slow.

Birthday deal letdown

Thumbs Down: A long-time Alexandria resident likes it when restaurants offer special birthday deals but not when they suddenly change the rules. He was looking forward to a birthday discount that takes a percentage off the bill equal to the birthday person’s age but he said he only received half that amount this time. He said he later found out that others with birthdays were still getting the full discount. His point: A restaurant should explain to birthday celebrators when a change is made and the birthday deals should be consistent from customer to customer.

Keeping museum attractions new

Thumbs Up: The Runestone Museum in Alexandria deserves a thumbs up for giving residents and visitors a reason to return to the museum by offering new exhibits and new looks. Last month, the museum replaced its wolf exhibit with one that contains fascinating information about the Ice Age. Museum-goers can learn about Ice Age “finds” in the region and how the era impacted the area. The new exhibit is in the Northwest Gallery. Check it out.

If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.