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News from the week of September 4, 2002

75th Box Car Days dazzles

The Diamond Jubilee of Tracy Box Car Days enjoyed a special sparkle Friday through Monday.

“It was a fantastic weekend,” said Robert Gervais, Tracy Community Development Director. “We've had lots of good comments.”

The 75th annual celebration was blessed with near-perfect weather all four days. Many events met or exceeded expectations.

Many observers felt that the parade attendance Monday was especially big this year. Gervais said that the carnival midway and Chamber of Commerce beer gardens enjoyed “phenomenal” days on Saturday and Monday.

“I don't have the final totals, but it (Box Car Days) should be a good money-maker for the Chamber.”

Many favorable reports were heard about the Dennis Morgan concert, and the fireworks display Sunday night, Gervais said.

“We had been hoping to get 1,000 (for the concert), but the 875 crowd that we did have was great.” The fireworks display was so successful, Gervais added, there's been talk of making it an annual event.

Nightlight of Eden Prairie staged the $4,000 fireworks display near the Tracy Area High School athletic complex.

The fireworks display is thought to be the first in Tracy since the 1970s.

Fly-in attendance soars.

Boosted by the appearance of a World War II B-25 bomber from the Commemorative Air Force, the Monday morning fly-in likely set a new attendance record. The twin engine 60-year-old bomber—the same type of aircraft used on the famous American raid against Tokyo in 1942—arrived at the airport Sunday night. The bomber left Tracy early Monday afternoon after several “fly-overs” at the start of the Box Car Days parade. Two World War II T-6 trainers also participated in the fly-in and parade fly-overs.

A total of 800 people were served pancakes by the Mediterranean in the airport hangar. Many others turned out for the fly-in, but didn't eat.

Helicopter and airplane rides were both popular at the fly-in.

A delegation from Tracy, California was presented with a “key to the city” by Mayor Claire Hannasch.

Variety show

A community talent show, which attracted about 12 entries, was a successful Box Car Days addition.

Gervais felt that the talent show helped boost attendance for the Chamber's “build-your-own burger” event. About 700 pork burgers and hamburgers were served.

Matt Jones, a country singer from Balaton, was the winner in the adult division.

Hunter and Beau Priegnitz were the winners in the under 18 class.

Other events

Paid admission to a Saturday night street dance was about 1,400. “The Great Outdoors” from Fargo, ND. Provided the music.

Gervais said that he'd also had reports of good attendance from the mud volleyball and men's softball tournaments, tractor and truck pulls, karate demonstrations, and the kids' day the park activity.

Some 47 tractors and 51 pick-ups participated in pulls organized by the Midwest Outlaw Pullers.

Crowds at the Midway on Sunday were small, however, as was a children's program for the “Singing Safari” children's program Sunday afternoon. Gervais felt that other activities, including the Tracy Aquatic Center, likely held down carnival attendance on Sunday.

Attendance was also down at the Miss Tracy Program, which was moved from Sunday to Saturday nights this year.

Parade winners

A float featuring past Miss Tracy candidates was judged to be the top float entry. A community float from Montevideo was second, followed by an entry from Prairie View Health Care.

The parade was nearly two-hours long.

Box Car Days memorabilia

The sales of two 75th anniversary Box Car Days items—a stoneware crock and a train engine bank—went well for the Chamber. The Chamber's supply of the train banks are gone, although a few may still be available at Tracy stores. The Chamber has about 16 of the crocks left.

Dennis Morgan wows hometown crowd

The heat was oppressive; the humidity stifling. But Nashville songwriter Dennis Morgan found a way to turn muggy into magic Saturday night.

For 2 1/2 hours, the Grammy-award winning songwriter delighted a crowd of nearly 900 sandwiched into the Tracy Area High School gym. Chart-topping Morgan songs...unfamiliar Morgan tunes...old melodies and didn't matter what Morgan and his four-man band played. Energetic applause and cheers were the bookends to every song.

“You're spoiling us. I know you are spoiling me,” Morgan told the crowd, after one ovation.

Sultry weather and the near-capacity crowd turned the non-air conditioned gym into a sauna. But few seemed to mind. Only a handful a people left prior to Morgan's finale at 9:30 p.m.

“I'm having fun, I hope you are too,” a sweat-drenched Morgan grinned at the crowd. The audience answered with its applause. “We've got all night,” someone said.

The concert—a headline event for the 75th Tracy Box Car Days celebration—was a celebration of Morgan's songbook.

. He wrapped up the concert with Milsap's hit, “I Wouldn't Have Missed it For the World. That's how I really feel about this,” he told the crowd.

The feeling was mutual.

“He's awesome,” said Rose Goltz, during the concert's 15-minute intermission. “I think it is just really neat how he has come back here and that he hasn't forgotten where he came from.”

Jolynn Johns agreed. “I think he is fantastic.” Prior to the concert, she said she had been well-versed about Morgan's songwriting career. His performance was something of a surprise. “He is just as good as some of the stars who record his songs.”

Morgan told the audience that Saturday night's concert was being recorded, and might be produced into a CD. “You haven't heard the last from us,” he said.

Congregation to hold first service in new church

Tracy Christian and Missionary Alliance parishioners will be celebrating an answer to prayer this weekend.

The congregation will be holding their first church service in their new church building on Sunday, Sept. 8. Sunday school for all ages begins at 9:15 a.m. and the worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

A community open house is planned for Saturday, Sept. 28 from 2-5 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The congregation will dedicate the new building on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m.

The new, 6,000-square-foot building is located on Front Street in the Tracy Broadacres Addition. Groundbreaking took place in July of 2001. The congregation has been holding services at the First Presbyterian Church of Tracy during the construction and finishing of their new church.

Brooke is Miss Tracy 2003

Brooke averill carried on a seven-decade-old tradition Saturday as she was named the 2003 Miss Tracy.

Brittany Scott was named First runner-up, while Emily Vandendriessche was Second Runner-up. the new Miss Tracy will receive a $1,300 scholarship, with the two runner-ups receiving scholarships of 4700 and $500 respectively.

Vandendriessche won the scholastic achievement competition and an additional $100 scholarship. Scott won the creative arts presentation and a $100 scholarship, while Averill won the fitness routine competition and $100. Averill and Scott tied in the presence and composure category to split that $100 scholarship. Additionally, all six candidates each received a $200 scholarship from the newly-formed Miss Tracy Alumni organization. Plans are to make the scholarship to all participants an annual effort.

the pageant emphasized past Miss Tracy traditions by inviting former Miss Tracy contestants to the stage. About three dozen Miss Tracy alumni, spanning a six-decades period starting with the 1940s, participated. women made their entrances behind a train engine, following a period dance performed by Ann Marie Mickelson, Ed Malone, and Tiffany Browne.

'Lights and Beyond' opens

A new business is lighting up an old building in Tracy.

Lights & Beyond, operated by Lori Hebig and Deb Schenkoske, opened last Tuesday in the former Tracy Bottling building.

The duo had been thinking about the business for well over a year and a half.

“There's not another lighting warehouse within 90 miles,” said Schenkoske. “We definitely thought there was a need for this type of business.”

Hebig and Schenkoske spent a great deal of time researching that need. They found that about 400 new homes are built annually in the 12-county area, and that the region is served by 113 licensed electricians.

They also researched what kinds of lighting they wanted to offer, and what kind of atmosphere they wanted to present to customers. They went to other lighting stores, and attended a lighting market in Dallas.

Both Hebig and Schenkoske knew when they walked into one store that they had found the kind of atmosphere they wanted to achieve. They also decided on a line of lighting from top-quality to top-value.

“We want to make sure we're hitting all the markets, from customized to more of a value line,” Hebig said.

They agreed that they learned the most from attending the show in Dallas, where they determined what vendors they wanted to use.

The Lights & Beyond line includes a variety of lighting fixtures such as chandeliers, sconces, outdoor lights, lamps, and doorbells. They also carry a variety of accessories such as tables, mirrors, and other decorative accent pieces.

Consulting and helping customers find exactly what they're looking for is the goal of Hebig and Schenkoske.

“We're focusing on service to our customers,” Schenkoske said. “What we want to really get to know the customers.”

“We have spent a lot of time getting to know the catalogs from our vendors,” Hebig said, adding that there are a variety of fixtures that can be special ordered if a customer is searching for a specific look.

They will also be working with contractors on building and remodeling jobs. They hope to target homebuyers and those building new homes.

State Fair entries return with ribbons

Fifty-three Lyon County 4-Hers participated at the Minnesota State Fair.

Livestock project members exhibited the first weekend of the state fair. Ribbon placings are:

Matthew Boerboom, poultry, participation; Michael Boerboom, poultry, participation; Joe Brockway, sheep, blue; Amanda Eberspacher, beef, purple; Michael Fuhrmann, beef, purple; Erin Josephson, beef, blue; Ann Lanoue, swine, blue; Brad Lanoue, swine, purple and Champion Intermediate Barrow Showman;

Kyle Lessman, beef, red; Becky Lessman, beef, purple; Kyle Louwagie, rabbits, red; Meagan Louwagie, dairy goat, blue; Ross Louwagie, rabbit, purple; Jeremiah Martin, fleece, red; Brittany Moorse, dairy, blue; Sarah Pamp, sheep, purple; Sarah Pamp, fleece, reserve champion; Tony Rialson, swine, blue; Nicole Sinclair, rabbit, red; Codi Skaar, swine, blue; Darin Wilking, sheep, Champion Registered Suffolk Yearling Ewe; Nicole Wilking, sheep, blue.

Non-livestock exhibitors were judged August 25-27. ribbon placings are as follows:

Keegan Ahern, photography, blue; Kristina Anderson, fashion revue, participation; Megan Anderson, fashion revue, participation; Liesl Bahn, fine arts, participation; Celia Brockway, clothes you make, red; Lynn Brockway, youth leadership, red; Dalton Buysse, entomology, red; Brian Byrnes, potato, blue; Emily Coulter, cat, blue; Jackie Coulter, dog, blue; Kristin Erdmann, exploring the environment, blue;

Jenna Fischer, flower gardening, purple; Kathryn Gieser, computer, red; Michael Gieser, bicycle, red; Chelsey Gossen, youth leadership, blue; Lacey Grant, clothing you make, purple; Kate Hunt, global connections, purple; Andrew Johnson, shop, blue; Erin Josephson, veterinary science, blue; Kim Lenertz, photography, blue; Michael Lenertz, self-determined, blue; Kelli Louwagie, foods and nutrition, blue; Kaitlin Lubben, performing arts, participation; Melissa Luckhardt, fashion revue, participation;

Justin Moe, crafts, participation; Sarah Pamp, crafts, participation; Morgan Peterson, shooting sports, purple; Hope Rasmussen, home environment, blue; Rock Lake Go Getters, banner, participation; Nicole Sinclair, safety, blue; Codi Skaar, foods and nutrition, blue; Matthew Steinbronn, cat, blue; Tracy Comets, community pride, blue; Maria Verly, photography, purple; Susan Verly, photography, red.

Celia Brockway was a member of the Centennial 4-H Choir.