ND State Fair benefits greatly from volunteer labor

Who do we thank when we leave the State Fairgrounds after an enjoyable afternoon or evening at the fair?

Right. Probably nobody. Volunteers, who in no small way make the fair click, don’t line up by the gates waiting for a pat on the back. Many of them are still at work around the fairgrounds – any time of day.

But there are volunteers who should be thanked, such as Fern Laudenschlager who has been been coordinating the open class food and needlework exhibits at the North Dakota State Fair the past 20 years. Fern, who is now 80, is giving it up this year; you can read more about Fern in Sunday’s paper.

But she is precisely the kind of person, who year after year, works hard to make the North Dakota State Fair the best fair of its size in the country.

Thanks to Fern and her generation that has carried on the tradition for the rest of us to enjoy.

While the State Fair does employ many, and vendors and carnival crew members certainly get paid, one would be hard pressed to think of an area of the fair’s operations where volunteers are not to be found.

The animal and flower judges, race car drivers and their crews, the First Lutheran Church crew famous for its pies – they are all essential to the State Fair and all volunteers.

We all were accustomed to the late Chester Reiten crediting the hundreds of volunteers for the success of the Norsk Høstfest. He was not wrong, of course. We just think it’s time to start thinking of the North Dakota State Fair in similar ways.

These cherished events don’t just happen.

Thanks to all who helped make this year’s State Fair the success that it was, with a special pat on the back for Fern Laudenschlager for her 20 years of service.

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