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Dedicated fans

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Dedicated fans

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HARTINGTON — One couple at Friday night’s Cedar County Fair concert would do just about anything to see their favorite country music performers.

Even jump on a plane and fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

Timo and Mirja Havulinna of Tuusula, Finland have been fans of Scotty McCreery since his first audition for American Idol. 

“When he sang, I said to my wife that this guy is going to win the whole game,” Havulinna said. “And he did. We’ve been fans from that moment.” 

When the couple saw he was going to be performing on July 20, 2018 in Hartington and then Luke Bryan would be performing the next night in Minneapolis, they thought it would be a perfect opportunity to combine their vacation with some country concerts.  

Havulinna and his wife arrived in Chicago, Illinois on Monday, July 16, 2018 and spent three nights there and then drove down 503 miles to Vermillion, South Dakota on Thursday, July 19, 2018. The night of McCreery’s concert, they drove forty minutes to arrive just in time for the meet and greet with McCreery. 

Prior to this concert, Havulinna said they had never experienced a concert in a venue like this. 

“I didn’t have any idea what this county fair would be like,” Havulinna said. “It was interesting to experience a concert in that kind of a surrounding. We liked it very much.”

Havulinna and his wife began traveling to the United States in the 80s when they work in the electronic distributions business. Since then, it has been the easy going people of the U.S. that have motivated them to continuing their travels. And also magnets. 

Before 2014, the couple had been to at least 30 states and had been buying magnets from each state they visited. 

“From every state we bought these magnets and I thought, ‘Oh, if we buys these magnets we have to visit all the states to get the magnets on the fridge.’ And so that’s what we did,” Havulinna said.

Since the couple visited all 50 states, they joined the All 50 States Club and have a certificate hanging on their wall in Tuusula.  

According to Havulinna, since they are both retired the goal of these trips are to help the couple take life a little bit easier by doing what they love: traveling to the United States and listening to country music.