Ostrander ready to welcome visitors to Uff-da Days


Ongoing construction on County 1 has relocated some of Ostrander's annual Uff-da Days celebration, and access to its businesses and parking is reached only by using a street to the east. Despite the changes, a full schedule of activities is planned for this weekend. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
By : 
GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY
Spring Valley Tribune

Ostrander’s wide open for Uff-da.

“Our Uff-da Days celebration will be mainly centered around the park.  There is also access from County 1 and County 3 into town now, so the ability to get to the celebration should be easier,” stated Ostrander city clerk Wendy Brincks.

Access has been an important issue in Ostrander this summer as a major construction project has completely removed County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 1, also Ostrander’s main street. However, the Norwegian excitement — enough to make even the German or Irish neighbors go “Uff-da” -- will go on. 

The 2018 Uff-da Days begins on Thursday, July 12, with a 5K run-walk and a blood pressure clinic in City Park. 

The next day offers a grand parade that will line up on South Street, circulate from Minnesota Street northward to County 3 and then south on Robert Street. There will also be a movie in the park at dusk — featuring the Blue Sky animated film “Ferdinand.” 

Saturday, July 14, includes breakfast at Trinity Lutheran Church, co-ed volleyball and a children’s carnival at the park, a pedal tractor pull, antique tractor pull, watermelon feed and beanbag tournament. Brincks noted that Saturday’s usual street dance will not be held, but the Wolf’s Den will be holding a private dance in the parking lot of the bar. 

Sunday’s got a sandwich, pie and ice cream social at Trinity Lutheran, mud bogs and a meat cookoff.

Visitors to Ostrander have found that the best way around town is to avoid imagining that they’re going to approach businesses from County 1.  Fillmore County Highway Engineer Ron Gregg related that the county has been planning to cooperate with Ostrander’s council for years to improve the concurrent street, but that obstacles kept arising. 

“The project has been in the works for several years, but the Rural Development funding approval held up the starting of the project,” he said. “I believe bids for this project were opened this past March, and A-1 Contracting got the bid.  The equipment was moved in before spring road restrictions, and the contractor started the end of April.”   

Both County Road 1 and County Road 3 will have concrete curb and gutter and aggregate base brought up to the edge of the curb and gutter.  The estimated completion date is in August. Rain has been the biggest factor in delays, said Gregg, but all in all, the project is ahead of schedule.  There were several meetings with residents during the development of the project and one meeting prior to the beginning of construction. 

Gregg observed that with Uff-da Days arriving, the contractor will do what is necessary to make the in-town detours accessible. 

“The contractor will work with the town to make it safe for the visitors,” he said. “Town reconstruction projects are always the most complex, but the contractor and engineering consultant are top notch.  We ask that people be patient.”