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No Fair!

THUMBS DOWN: No Minnesota State Fair!? Somehow it seems to hit harder than the loss of the spring sports season, or the delay of Major League Baseball, or not being able to go out to eat. Because that 12-day stretch at the end of summer combines and condenses all the thrills and spectacle of a whole summer into one big spectacle.

But the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, which puts on the fair, made the only responsible decision it could on Friday. It would be impossible to hold the State Fair without putting more than 2 million people at risk. Still, it is a hard pill to swallow.

The Fair managers pledge to bring it back next year as big and beautiful as ever. We know they will.

Street dining?

THUMBS UP: Gov. Tim Walz’s “relaxation” of restaurant and bar restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic had lots of business owners frustrated this week. He said they could open for in-person service, but they could only serve customers outside. Not many bars and restaurants have patios or rooftop gardens where they can offer such service.

New Ulm businesses are hoping to take a creative approach, closing parts of Minnesota Street to traffic at certain times to allow restaurants and bars along the street to set up tables for customers. We think the idea has a lot of potential.

It is done with great success in European cities, where town squares offer space for outdoor service on pleasant summer evenings. We think it is an idea worth trying, and we hope the New Ulm City Council will be willing to entertain the idea.

Innovation

THUMBS UP: The COVID-19 restrictions have eliminated some fine spring traditions like the Memorial Day celebrations so many people enjoy. There won’t be a parade this year, or a ceremony in the Soldier’s Rest section of the New Ulm Cemetery this year. But like the schools, which are pre-recording graduation ceremonies, a ceremony will be broadcast on KNUJ on Monday, with music and speeches — and even a New Ulm Battery salute. We know those who are being remembered and honored would understand.

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