It was a picture-perfect day for the opening of the 147th McLeod County Fair. Festivities began at 1 p.m. Wednesday with a patriotic salute by Bobbi Ludewig singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” accompanied by Bev Wangerin on the main stage in the Corporate Tent.

Next up was Robert Hantge, fair board president, who welcomed the crowd and recognized 30-year parking volunteer Rube Schutz of Hutchinson. Hantge called him the “parking guru.” Schutz is retiring after this year.

Crooner Erv George was the featured entertainment at the Senior Citizen Program. He took the audience on a sentimental journey of favorites by luminaries such as Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby.

Casey Walter, fair manager, and Cynthia Buchholz, a barn quilt painting instructor, introduced the new self-guided barn quilt tour. It features six images that can be seen throughout the fairgrounds. Want to be part of this? You can join in the fun of painting a quilt square 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, in the South Tent.

While Jim’s Brewers played toe-tappin’ polka music Wednesday afternoon to a crowd in the Pavilion, Glencoe’s Golden Entertainers Bell Choir rang up the songs on the Miller Manufacturing Stage. They were followed by members of Therapy Dogs International, who introduced their four-legged friends.

Meanwhile in the Commercial Building, Karen Gensmer explained the Power of Produce program at the Hutchinson Farmers Market followed by Dan Mahon, who talked about farm succession and estate planning, both on the B&C Plumbing & Heating Legacy Stage.

This was only a small part of all the activities taking place at the County Fair. The Midway was open, animal shows were happening and exhibits were ready for browsing.

It’s been said there’s #muchinhutch, and those words resonate at the McLeod County Fair.

— Kay Johnson

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