County fair visit builds community, offers choices

It was a day of learning, fairground food and interaction for a group of nine ProAct Adult Day Services participants from the Eagan location.

Individuals with disabilities had a midday jaunt to the Dakota County Fair that included rides, animals, and of course, food. “Quite a few of our folks, especially David and Spencer are very sociable,” said ADS Coordinator Mike Hurley. Some talk to families with children at the fair.

ProAct covered admission and provided a bus, as participants munched on foot-long hotdogs, tacos in a bag, Angus and jalapeno cheeseburgers, cotton candy, lemonade and ice cream. The experience offers more freedom and the ability to make choices in the community, staff explained.

By purchasing their own food and other fair items, there are lessons in making choices and money management. “I came in with $40 and I’m leaving with $16,” said participant David Rahn.

“Going out into the community with these guys is a good learning experience for our staff, too,” said ADS classroom instructor Angi Fleury. “You get to know them better when they’re in different surroundings.”

There were billy goats, baby foxes, pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys, small horses and an ostrich to see. One woman bought toys for her grandchildren and a few chose to go on rides.  The group also attended the Rice County Fair in Faribault and the Minnesota State Fair.