Godahl celebrates Labor Day in a big way

GODAHL – Hundreds of people are expected to swell the population of Godahl today for the 58th Annual Godahl Labor Day celebration, signaling the end of summer activities.

Events like raffles with more than 200 prizes, bingo, games of chance, food and beverage sales generate thousands of dollar for Godahl youth baseball and softball programs and the local recreation center.

Food choices include hot barbecued pork and ham sandwiches, baked beans, hot dogs, hamburgers, fresh popcorn, pie, cake, donuts, and ice cream floats.

A 12:30 p.m. parade features high school marching bands, antique tractors, cars, pickup and fire trucks, politicians, local officials on floats and other units including members of the Younger Brothers re-enactment set.

Miss Godahl will be crowned after the parade.

Although it will be closed during the parade, Minnesota’s oldest continuously operating cooperative general store, the Albin-Nelson (Township) store will be open before and afterwards.

The store was created in 1894 by farmers tired or driving horse-drawn buggies for hours to nearby towns to buy necessities. Patrons continue to help keep the store open with cash donations. Baking and rummage sale items are sometimes sold in the store.

The business is a page from life decades ago. Sales are rung up on an antique manual cash register. Customer accounts are maintained on note cards. Some customers pay in advance. Others use an interest-free tab with a $40 limit.

Store manager Darlene Olson said she’d prefer customers paid in advance.

Store inventory includes a wide variety of packaged and canned food plus hardware items like flat washers, nuts, bolts, tools and clothing. Ice cream, milk, frozen treats and other food are found in freezers.

The store is the area social center with auction bills and lists of church activities on store windows.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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