ELLSWORTH -- Kenneth Anderson’s family has the fair running through its blood.
Anderson met a gal named Vicki at the Minnesota State Fair while walking through the carnival area not long after he graduated high school in 1944. Two years later, they married, and together they had children.
His oldest son he parented with Vicki, Gerald Anderson, followed in his footsteps. Gerald married a girl he met at the Pierce County Fair and they had children.
“It was kind of a coincidence but it worked out that way, it runs in the blood,” Kenneth said.
Gerald and some of his children and grandchildren have spent their time as ticket collectors at the Pierce County Fair.
Together they all visit the fair with their father, grandfather and great-grandfather Kenneth, who attend the fair as a young man.
“I’ve been in and out of the fair in different ways over the years,” Kenneth said. Kenneth served on the Pierce County Committee for a handful of years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. “I can remember when we first went to the fair, we used to pack our lunch because we didn’t have money to buy food and there weren’t food trucks. The Ferris wheel and merry-go-round were some of the only rides and the fair wasn’t big like it is now. One of the biggest entertainment was the horse races in the grandstand.”
Kenneth now rides the Ferris wheel with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“We have to do the Ferris wheel ride with them every year, and I see grandkids that I don’t see very often. It’s a get together.”
Kenneth, who said he doesn’t get around as easily nowadays, enjoys just sitting and visiting with people at the Pierce County fair.
“You see people who come back to the fair in the fall when people are traveling, people from different parts of the country who come home for the fair,” Kenneth said. “I’ve spent many hours visiting people, that’s what I do now.”