HARTINGTON — A simple idea to upgrade the flagpole near the grandstands at the Cedar County Fairgrounds grew into a big project — a very big project.
Volunteers started working to get a 120- foot pole into place near the center of the fairgrounds before 8 a.m. Monday. By noon, a 30-by-60-foot American flag was waving in the wind high above the fairgrounds.
The flag acts as a beacon that can be seen from several miles away.
Cedar County Ag Society President Greg Heine said for a couple of years now, he has wanted to replace the aging flagpole that sits just to the west of the grandstands.
"Everybody I talked to about it wanted to help out," he said. "It didn't take long and the idea grew from a typical flagpole into this," Heine said as he motioned toward the 120-foot steel pillar Ag Society members put in place Monday morning with the help of a crane from Heine Electric and the expertise of Maximum Promotions of Sioux Falls, S.D., a company that specializes in flags and flagpoles.
The pole is embedded into a 12-foot hole, which was dug into the ground and a concrete base was poured around it.
Heine said the entire project was completed with donations.
"Donations of time, equipment and manpower from several area residents made it all possible," he said.
A metal plaque thanking the project's donors was also put together and is being installed at the base of the flagpole.
The flagpole project is just one of many projects the Ag Society is undertaking to prepare for this year's fair, which begins on Wednesday, July 13.