Godahl’s population swells on Labor Day

Annual parade, celebration draws hundreds to community

Staff photos by Fritz Busch Godahl youth boys baseball and girls softball players participate in the 63rd Annual Godahl Day Labor Day Celebration parade Monday. The event drew many people to town to enjoy live music including local talent, home-made food, bingo, prize drawings, youth ball games, and the Miss Godahl Coronation. See more photos on Page 8A.

GODAHL — Hundreds of people young and old, maybe more than 1,000, flocked to this tiny village on the Brown-Watonwan County Line to celebrate Labor Day together for the 63rd year, and support the local ball field maintenance plus youth recreation programs.

A handful of people, maybe a few more actually live in Godahl.

Participants feasted on hot pork and ham sandwiches, hot dogs, baked beans, home-made pies and pastries, cake, donuts, ice cream floats, popcorn and watched a lengthy parade with a marching band, politicians, youth baseball and softball teams, and lots of antique cars, trucks and tractors.

After that, Ana Parker, the daughter of Gary and Ann Parker of Godahl, was crowned 2018 Miss Godahl. Lorena Butler, daughter of Steve Butler and Wendy and Brad Carlson, was princess. Sara Craig was the 2017 Miss Godahl.

On top of that, youth baseball players played a game and live entertainment including old-time, rock, country and jazz music plus local talent performed on stage.

Staff photos by Fritz Busch Godahl youth boys baseball and girls softball players participate in the 63rd Annual Godahl Day Labor Day Celebration parade Monday. The event drew many people to town to enjoy live music including local talent, home-made food, bingo, prize drawings, youth ball games, and the Miss Godahl Coronation. See more photos on Page 8A.

It’s a healthy, heaping helping of Americana, friends and families playing ball, eating and enjoying live music, a parade and coronation.

Live music was provided by Harry Wojahn of Fairfax, the Armstrong Boulevard Brass Quintet of St. James, the Marv and Carol Nissel band of New Ulm, Mike Lang of Sleepy Eye, and local talent. Lots of raffle drawings were held.

Bingo, dancing and a bouncy castle was available.

John Beckius, who farms just down the road from Godahl and played little league and amateur baseball for many years, was among the fans watching the youth baseball teams play.

“It takes a lot of work to keep the ball park up,” Beckius said. “All my kids played ball here and so did I. Hanska and Godahl combined for Junior Bi-County and Bi-County baseball teams when I was young. I remember we could hardly wait for Friday night to play under the ballpark lights. To a youngster, it’s like playing in the World Series.”

Signs are still on The Godahl Store, a former historical consumers’ co-operative general store established in the unincorporated community in 1894. It was listed on the National Register of Historical Places as the Nelson and Albin Cooperative Mercantile Association store in 1987. It remained in business through 2016, selling groceries, dry goods, tools and other hardware and household items.

The building remains, looking much as it did for the past 130 years. These days, the structure is used as a daycare and pre-school. A creamery that used to be located across the road from the store went out of business in 1956.

fbusch@nujournal.com

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