Future tractor drivers

Future Massey drivers make their way down County Hwy. N for the 100th Retreat World's Fair parade, Saturday afternoon.

Retreat’s population grew by leaps and bounds when people from the area and beyond came to the unincorporated community to celebrate the 100th Retreat World’s Fair, Saturday.

One of Saturday’s events was the famous two-way parade on County Hwy. N, which included a wide range of entries from the De Soto High School band and horseback riders to vintage cars and the last teacher to mold young minds at the Retreat school. Winners of the parade competition were Jack Walleser for Farm, John Hanson and the Retreat Methodist Church for Nostalgic, and Norwegian Hollow for Creativity.

Retired teacher

Shirley Long, the last teacher to mold young minds at the Retreat school, rides in the World's Fair parade, Saturday afternoon. The school closed in 1959.

A special map was created so fair-goers could indicate “Where is Home?” Volunteers handed out stickers in an effort to count how many attended the centennial event. Ann Lea Haase, one of the members of a core group that put together the book, “A Century of Home Town Pride: 1919-1994 and 1994-2019,” said the consensus was there were about 3,000 people in attendance.

“I thought it was interesting that the youngest person was 4 days old and the oldest person was 95 years old,” Haase said.

Minding the store

Bob Sandy, who grew up in Retreat, mans the Old Retreat Store during the 100th Retreat World's Fair, Saturday. The store carried World's Fair souvenirs.

Saturday morning featured members of the Retreat Sportsmen’s Club holding a dedication service for a new flag, with the help of De Soto VFW members. In addition, there was the 13th annual Retreat Tractor Pull (it started Friday and ended Saturday), charcoal chicken, games for children, a horse show at George Hayden Memorial Park, historical displays, food and refreshment, and the Old Retreat General Store, where Retreat World’s Fair souvenirs could be purchased. A trap shoot was held Friday night.

Prepping the chicken

Lonnie Krause (left) and Tim Larson prepare charcoal chicken for the Retreat World's Fair, Saturday.

All of the events were held at the Retreat Sportsmen’s Club, which is located 10 miles east of De Soto just off Hwy. 82 on County Hwy. N.

A pooped pooch

A tired-looking dog looks at the crowd gathered along County Hwy. N for the Retreat World's Fair parade, Saturday.

Watching the show

Young horse enthusiasts watch the Retreat World's Fair horse show, Saturday.

Parade judges

Linda Lockington of rural De Soto, Casey Witle of Victory and Diane Brown of Richland Center pause for a photo after judging the 2019 Retreat World's Fair parade entries.

Businesses from the past

This advertising curtain from the 1940s originally hung in the Retreat Community Club Hall. It was displayed in the Retreat Sportsmen's Club building for the 100th Retreat World's Fair.

Musical marchers

Members of the De Soto High School band provide music for the Retreat World's Fair, Saturday.

Clowning around

A member of the Northeast Iowa Shrine Motor Clowns greets a young parade-goer in Retreat, Saturday.

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Angela Cina can be reached at angie.cina@lee.net.


Vernon County Broadcaster editor

Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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