Updated: May 02, 2021 08:11 PM
Created: May 02, 2021 07:03 PM
Kathryn and Linda Koutsky are a mother-daughter duo who have been digging into the historical archives of the Minnesota State Fair, publishing a book.
Kathryn Koutsky remembers the last time the state fair was canceled because of a disease.
“I do remember the polio pandemic. I was 8 years old at the time that that fair was canceled," Kathryn Koutsky said. "And my parents and I, we always went to the fair, and so that really affected me."
And last year’s modified drive-thru fair looked nothing like what’s seen in the history books.
“The fair is so crowded that you just couldn't imagine going into the crowd. I mean, it was awfully sad," said Kathryn's daughter, Linda. "I loved going to the fair. I go several days each year, but you just knew there was no way we could go."
But there is some hope for the state fair this year. On Friday, Gov. Tim Walz indicated Minnesota is on track for its return.
“The touchstone place is the state fair. Everything looks to me on the horizon, the way that the vaccine is going and the way that the virus is responding, that that should be a pretty close-to-normal event,” Walz said.
Kathryn Koutsky says she has some optimism for a brighter future for the fair.
"I think it will (get back to normal), eventually," she said. "Because after the polio ... pandemic ... it took a couple of years, but it was back to normal in a big way, and I think we will get through this."
The Koutskys' book, “The Minnesota State Fair: An Illustrated History,” is almost sold out online, but there are still copies left at bookstores near the fairgrounds. The authors say they plan on donating some of the proceeds back to the fair.
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