PHOTO: Joe Yedlik presents Gary Nagel, owner of N&N Trailer Sales, with his plaque as the 2013 GJCF Hall of Fame inductee. (Photo by Emily Burds)
PHOTO: Nick Hein, with kids in tow, thanks the audience as he was honored with the 2013 Friend of the Fair award. (Photo by Emily Burds)
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
The threat of ominous weather last Wednesday night, June 12, was a bad omen as the community kicked off one of the major events of the summer: the Great Jones County Fair and Food Fest.
Aside from talking up the great events and festivities to look forward to at this year’s 161st GJCF, awards were given out to this year’s Friend of the Fair and 2013 Hall of Fame inductee.
Fair Manager John Harms and ISU Jones County Extension Director Joe Yedlik provided the laughs and highlights during the night’s event.
Harms introduced the newest Friend of the Fair, Nick Hein, by stressing Hein’s passion for the fair and this community.
“For any business to survive 161 years of activity, friendships have to be established,” Harms said, referring to Hein’s dedication to the fair.
Harms explained Hein had “a passion even in his early adult years.” Harms mentioned ways in which Hein has been a community leader through his church, the Monticello Area Chamber of Commerce and the local school district.
“His persistence to get the job done gave him much success in chairing the development committee to develop the new baseball complex next to the new high school, a $1 million project,” Harms said. “On the same day of the dedication of that project, he pointed to his next project, a facility for the youth of Jones County, another jewel in our community.”
The facility in question, the Citizens State Bank Youth Development Center, was the setting of the annual fair kick-off event.
“This building not only stands for what a group effort is all about, but it stands because of the leadership provided by tonight’s honoree,” prefaced Harms.
As Hein, with his kids in tow, thanked everyone for their support in getting the Youth Development Center project completed, he was shocked at the great honor to be named Friend of the Fair.
“I really appreciate this,” Hein said. “I’m glad to be part of this community and to be part of this tremendous fair.”
Yedlik presented the 2013 Hall of Fame award to Gary Nagel, owner of N&N Trailer Sales in Monticello.
“Hall of famers are just that because of their passion and dedication to the cause of the fair,” said Yedlik.
He said Nagel, who is part of a multi-generational, hardworking farm family, has his roots in the ag industry, even manufacturing and selling farm machinery.
“He has a history of never walking away from something that needs to be done,” said Yedlik. With farming and running a business, Yedlik said Nagel still finds time to dedicate to the GJCF. Nagel has served on the fair’s governing board for nine years. He’s worked many late hours at the fairgrounds cleaning up, mowing the grass and tying up loose ends.
“He does what he says he’ll do, picks up the slack for those that don’t and finishes work for those who can’t,” Yedlik offered.
Nagel told the crowd that it was a pleasure to work for the fair and to have served on the Fair Board all those years.
“I’ve gotten to know some great people,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it and enjoy taking care of the fair and helping people out.”
Also during the kick-off event, the six candidates for the 2013 Jones County Fair Queen were announced and introduced to the crowd who filled the Expo Hall and then some. The candidates are: Lillie Beringer, Cascade; Mindy Salzbrenner, Mount Vernon; Makenzie Toenjes, Anamosa; Brooke Stahlberg, Monticello; Mackenzie Dietiker, Monticello; and Kelli Jo Welter, Monticello.
This is the 14th year for the Queen contest, which is open to girls ages 16 to 21. The Queen pageant will take place on Sunday, July 7, at 6 p.m. at the Monticello Eagles Club and is open to the public. The official crowning will be held on Tuesday, July 16, during the fair’s Sneak-A-Peak night, at 6:30 p.m. on the stage.
For more information on the 161st Great Jones County Fair, visit
PHOTO: The 2013 Jones County Fair Queen candidates pose at the Fair Kickoff party last Wednesday night. From left to right, Lillie Beringer, Mindy Salzbrenner, Makenzie Toenjes, Brooke Stalhberg, and Mackenzie Dietiker. (Not pictured is Kelli Jo Welter) (Photo by Emily Burds)