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The Minnesota State Fair is held yearly for 10 days prior to, and ending on, Labor Day.

At 2:00 p.m., there is a parade which includes, among other things, marching bands and clowns.

As I was watching the parade, in the distance, I saw an Icelandic flag approaching. The Marching Knights of Irondale High School in the Mounds View School District is one of the top bands in the state. Band members carried a US flag, an Icelandic flag, the Minnesota Flag, and the Irondale flag.

The Icelandic flag had also been spotted previously in Shoreview when this same band marched in the Shoreview parade.  Benjamín Pálsson, son of Páll Skaftason and Hrund (Thora) Þórarinsdóttir plays saxophone in the award-winning band at Irondale High School.

Thora was last year’s Val Bjornson Scholar at the University of Minnesota and is continuing her studies in Parenting this year. Thora’s family has joined her in Minnesota, Páll continues his work via internet while Karítas and Benjamin attend Irondale High School and Salóme attends fourth grade. “Hats off” to Irondale for acknowledging their band member from Iceland. 

Used with permission from The Pósturinn, the newsletter of the Icelandic American Association of Minnesota 

News from IcelandNew fish farming plant in Suðurnes 
According to Agreements have been signed between the power company HS Orka and the Spanish company Stolt Seafarm, a subsidiary of Stolt Nielsen Group, on utilising run-off water from the Reykjanes Power Station (SW-Iceland) for fish farming.

Stolt Seafarm plans to raise lemon sole for export. This species requires warm water from the power station for growing. This plant will mean dozens of new jobs will be created in Suðurnes, first during the project and build-up and later for operations. Initially, production of about 500 tonnes per year is planned, which could become 2000 tonnes per year in 2017. 

Foreign affairs cooperation pact signed
According to The foreign ministers of the Nordic countries and Baltic States recently signed an agreement that delegates of the states will be able to have offices in embassies and permanent delegations of the other states abroad. According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the agreement enables the states to have more exten­sive presence than is currently the case and thereby increase the flexibility of their operations.

At the signing of the agreement, the foreign ministers declared that it was an indication of the solidarity prevailing between the Nordic countries and Baltic States as well as increased cooperation in foreign affairs.

 Iceland and Greece in last place
According to Morgunblaðið: Economic growth in Iceland has been second lowest amongst member states of major debt problem. During this period, the average economic growth in the OECD countries the OECD since the beginning of 2009.

Contraction is over 6%, and Iceland is far ahead of the next countries, Slovenia and Ireland, where GDP decreased by 4% during the period. Only Greece’s GNP has decreased more (9%). As is known, the Greeks have had to struggle with a major debt problem. During the period, the average economic growth in the OECD countries has been 1.81%. Reprinted with permission from INB, published by KOM PR

Fensala Hall holds Country & Folk
Bernice Andersen
On September 17, Fensala Hall, Markerville, decked out in fall colours, sat 100 plus folks to enjoy a turkey supper with all the trimmings. The supper was excellent but the highlight was entertainment by three local girls.

Each talented young girl performed for about 20 minutes.  Cassidy Piesse, 16, has been singing and playing guitar for 10 years and attends Spruce View school. She received the ACMA “Next Big Thing Award” at the 2011 Northern Star Talent search where she performed at the Ivan Daines Country Music Picnic. Cassidy says “I love to sing and it was a great honour to be asked to sing for you tonight”.
Bronwyn Kure, 17, lives near Spruce View and is in the Grade 12 home school program. She had been playing the violin for six years and recently passed her grade 8 violin exams. Bronwyn says “I love singing and playing the violin, especially with my family”.

She is the oldest in a family of 10 and the sixth generation of the Icelandic pioneer family G. Thorlakson.  Jaime Kennedy, 12, lives in Sylvan Lake and has been singing and playing the guitar on stage for two years. This year she placed first in the Edmonton Capital Ex Northern Star Talent Search, where she sang There Is No Arizona by Jamie O’Neal. She says, “My favourite entertainer is Martina McBride.” Jamie’s personality and talent will take her far.  The event was planned by the SGSIS Fensala Hall Committee, with the dinner by Kathleen Raines and a crew of volunteers.

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