Out with the “old,” in with the Settlers reunion

It is definitely an “old” event, but don’t call it that.

The Winona County, Minnesota, Annual County Settlers meeting celebrates their colorful and historic past. Just as when the first settlers formalized the event in 1861, it is for friends and descendants of Winona County’s early families to get together and reminisce, said Association President Bob Bambenek. It is a continuation of an agricultural tradition where, in late winter, families socialize together before the long hours of another season of fieldwork begins.

There is lots of music, and Future Farmers of America (FFA) members serve the meal and present a picture collection of past reunions and video of the previous year’s gathering. The mayor and a county commissioner speak and there is a memorial to members who have died during the past year. Bambenek says, “Well over 100 members are in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and we keep them on the mailing list.”

From a story by David Krotz in the Winona Daily News, Winona, Minnesota.