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Rich Paulsen - What’s Up

Kids, the McKinley Park Festival is Saturday

The weather folks are predicting one of the coolest days so far this summer, with highs in the low 70s predicted for Saturday. As long as the rain doesn’t make an appearance, we should be in good shape for the annual McKinley Park Festival.

The kids’ fishing contest begins at 4 p.m. with sign up starting at 3:15. There is also the Bill Riley talent contest for the kids. This year there will also be a DJ in the park that will play your favorite tunes following the talent contest. There will also be free tattoos and chalk for the kids, along with the usual hog roast with the proceeds going to the parks. Bring the kids out for an afternoon and evening of fun.


The latest figures show unemployment at 2.7 percent in Iowa, which is really low! Unemployment in the United States has not been this low since 1979. It’s pretty tough on a lot of local businesses that are trying to find employees. There are just not enough people out there to do all the jobs that are available.

Union County Fair

I hear the fair attendance was up this year at the Union County Fair. I’m sure the new facilities helped the attendance. Plus, the weather was pretty good all week long which also helps. Now on to the State Fair.


The Iowa State Fair starts up in two weeks. There are about 30 new food offerings at this year’s fair. You can go to to see all the new offerings. Two of the three finalists for best new food contain pork. The brown sugar pork belly on a stick is a quarter pound of bacon rubbed with brown sugar. The All Iowa Belly Up Burger is ground up pork belly topped with pulled pork, bacon, a signature sauce and slaw. The last finalist is an apple egg roll, an egg roll wrapped with apple filling and side of caramel to dip it in. Also new this year is Pickle Beer, Rocky Mountain oysters (not seafood), honey sriracha cheese sticks and Snickers in a waffle on a stick. Nothing like eating your way through the State Fair!

Tax Free

Tax Free weekend is fast approaching, Aug. 3 and 4. You can save the sales tax on many back-to-school items and clothing during those two days. There seem to be lots of sales that go along with the event for even more savings. So take advantage of the deals.


There is less than a month till the first high school football games. Most schools start on the week after the State Fair. The new field at the football stadium in Creston is taking shape. It is scheduled to be done before the first football game of the season.


I’ve been seeing the high temperatures out in the western part of the United States. Even up to 120 in some parts of the Southwest. It’s hard to believe that we are looking at highs in the 70s for the next four days. A little respite from the summer or else the start of an early fall. I’m sure once school starts the heat button will reappear!

Doing well

I had my gastric sleeve surgery six months ago. It has been a good thing and I have dropped 84 pounds in the first six months. I sure feel better carrying less weight and I don’t feel hungry. I know several people around town who are going to have the surgery coming up. They will be glad they did it.

Thought for the day: “A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it!” – Robert Orben

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