BELMONT—The annual tradition of the dedication of the Belmont Community Fair book will honor two long-time supporters of the fair for 2012: Kathy and Rebel Riechers.
Rebel, a rural Belmont native, has been involved with the fair since he was 9 years old. He started by showing hogs. Since then he has assisted with the success of the fair in many ways, including exhibits, promotions, the fair dance, emcee, set-up and tear-down.
“Everybody has a small part and does a good job,” Rebel said. “It really is a community fair. The whole community takes part to make it all happen.”
Kathy, originally from Beaver Dam, has been a teacher at the Belmont School District for 40 years and has assisted her students at the fair each year with the student floats, set-up and supervision. This year she is a fourth grade teacher in Belmont.
Together they owned a bar called Rebel’s in Belmont for 23 years where The Sports Page is now located. Now they own and operate Rebel’s Northern Exposure in Livingston for the last 14 years.
The Riechers have three children—Renee (Steve) Linscheid of Cobb, Kami (Marc) Studer of Marshall and Wes (Diana) Riechers of Salem—and five grandchildren—Lauren and Elise Linscheid, Cade Studer and Maddox and Macy Riechers.
Rebel said his favorite part of the fair is watching the young people get involved.
“It’s a really good show and exhibit hall for first-time 4-H-ers,” Rebel said.
“It depends on what level the students are,” Kathy said. “The lower kids are excited about their projects and the rides especially. Then you get into high school and it’s the projects that they made and also it’s like our homecoming, so there’s a big involvement for spirit week. For those who have graduated, it’s a chance to see friends you haven’t seen for a while.”
“It sort of turns out to be an all-school reunion as so many people come back,” Rebel said.
Rebel has been in competition with Carol Franz for the baking category blue ribbons. He said it all started when he heard her and some other women talking about all of the baking they needed to do before the fair.
“Like that’s tough,” Rebel said to the women. “All you gotta do is wake up, bake it and take it to the fair. So we had a competition. I got a blue ribbon in fudge. A lot of these ladies took that a little rough.”
It was the third year of the competition before he earned that blue ribbon.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Rebel said. “It’s an honor to receive this dedication. We were definitely surprised.”
Look for the Reichers in the parade at 10 a.m. in Belmont.
The 98th annual Belmont Community Fair kicked off on Tuesday, Sept. 11, with a volleyball game against Shullsburg. On Thursday, Sept. 13, the stunt program will start at 7:30 p.m. and the crowning of the fair king and queen will take place. On Friday, Sept. 14, entries will be accepted from 1-4 p.m. at the grade school gym, carnival rides will run from 6-9 p.m. and the varsity football game against Cassville will take place starting at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, the livestock weigh-in will take place from 8-9:30 a.m., the parade will start at 10 a.m.; carnival rides and concessions will start at 10:30 a.m.; a pasty dinner will be held in the school cafeteria at 11 a.m.; exhibits will be shown in the grade school gym all day, band trophies will be awarded on the football field at 11:15 a.m.; a car show will start at noon, Ray and Camilla McDonald will perform in the school commons from noon-2 p.m.; animal judging will take place at 12:15 for dairy, beef, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits; the livestock auction kicks off at 2:15 p.m.; and a kickball tournament will be held at Bond Park starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday night a teen dance will be held from 7-11 p.m. for grades 9-12 in the grade school gym.
On Sunday, Sept. 16, the American Legion and 4-H food stands open at 11 a.m.; the horse show, tractor and garden tractor pull and carnival rides start at noon; a wristband carnival ride special runs from noon- 4 p.m.; chicken catching and novelties will start at 1 p.m.; and the name the animal drawing will be done at 2 p.m. The livestock carcass contest will be held at Avon Locker in Darlington at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19.