New Gillen Building Dedicated at Rice County Fair
The new open class exhibit building officially became Gillen Hall after a ribbon cutting dedication on the opening night of the Rice County Fair in Faribault Tuesday night. Fair Board Executive Secretary John Dvorak told a good crowd on hand a 50 thousand dollar legacy grant from the state was matched by the county and then County Commissioner Jake Gillen told him he and his wife wanted to know if a 25 thousand dollar donation would allow them to place their name on the building. Dvorak said the grant stipulated the building had to be up and ready for this year's fair. He also noted the old building was built in World War II and donated by the state to the county, but had seen it's better days. Jake and Ruth Gillen did the honor of cutting the ribbon to the new building with a number of relatives in the audience. The Gillens are having a family reunion Sunday and there were kin in town from Washington, Florida and Georgia. Ruth Gillen said the memories abound in the open exhibit building for the Gillen family with Jake's Grandmother winning Grand Champion Ribbons for quilting, his Mom won, a daughter took first place in the foods category, Ruth has a couple blue ribbons and a granddaughter won a couple years ago in the quilting area. The building does have more room than the old facility and a cooler for cakes and items that can be kept fresher and bathrooms. Dvorak hopes it will eventually be used for wedding receptions, reunions and maybe board retreats so it will be utilized all year.