Steele County Fair
Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media

The return of the Steele County Fair in 2020 will be missing two men who have spent a combine century-and-a-half serving the fair. Jim Grass passed away Wednesday, July 14 at the age of 91. Richard "Dick" Reinhardt died the next day, three days after turning 95 years old.

Grass told KRFO that he not missed a Steele County Fair hog show in 75 years while attending the show during the 4-H showcase event in 2020. Reinhardt's history at the fair dates back to when he was 12 years old, taking tickets for a dance revue.

Grass was recognized as a Steele County Friend of 4-H early this year. Reinhardt was honored for his many years of service during the banquet leading into the 2019 fair.

Grass showed livestock for 50 years at the Minnesota State Fair. He is a member of the Steele County Livestock Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame, and received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Barrow Show among many other accolades.

Jim will be missed. Because as of about two weeks ago, somebody was in my office looking for Jim as far as for the 4-H livestock auction on Saturday morning. Great person. Great community person.

-Scott Kozelka, Steele County Fair manager

Reinhardt spent more than 60 years affiliated with the Steele County Fair and Minnesota State Fair. Reinhardt told KRFO in 2019, "They're good people [fair people]. You know they are or they wouldn't be in the business in the first place. It means a lot to them to be friends with people like us. There's good people wherever you go."

He (Reinhardt) lived and breathed fairs. He was knowledgeable on fairs that were everywhere. He knew the backgrounds on carnivals...anything and everything about a fair. Wherever we going-visiting to another fair...or a national event-somebody always asks about Dick.


They're irreplaceable.


Funeral services for Grass were held Wednesday, July 21. Memorial services for Reinhardt are Monday, August 2 at 2:30 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna. Visitation will be held beginning at 1 pm.

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