Wind, tree smite church food stand

BLUE EARTH – An 80-year tradition ends this year – Trinity Lutheran Church will not have a food stand at the Faribault County Fair.

“It’s gonna be sorely missed,” said Frankie Bly, stand manager. “The stand, this was their 80th birthday. The stand was built in 1934.”

Responsibility rests squarely on a monster wind storm on June 16 that blew down trees all over the county. One of those trees landed on the stand at the fairgrounds.

“There was no way of repairing it,” Bly said. “It fell in the very middle, crushing everything underneath.”

They were able to salvage the refrigerator, grill, hot water heater and some tables, among a few other items.

“Other than that, it’s gone,” Bly said.

The timing of the storm couldn’t have been worse.

“If it’d happened a month ago, we could’ve put something together,” Bly surmised.

There’s no time to make other arrangements, he said, leaving the church with no options.

“For this year, there will be no fair stand,” Bly said.

As for the future of the stand, that is to be determined, Bly said, and it’s not all up to the church. The fair board will have a say; the city owns the land on which the stand’s foundation still rests; and the trustees of the church will have to decide whether they want to continue the service and whether to rebuild.

“So many people will have to get questions answered first,” Bly said. “We need a year to think it through.”

But those decisions will go on without Bly.

“This is my 25th year,” he said. “I’ve got all the ordering information, so I’ll work with someone to pass it on, but I’m pretty much done with managing it.”