On the Road: Mazeppa - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

On the Road: Mazeppa

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MAZEPPA, Minn. (KTTC) -- When you travel to Mazeppa the small town feel will hit you.

But for one weekend this town of 842 will reach into the thousands.

"They estimate somewhere in that 15 to 20,000 people are in town Saturday night," said Fred Liffrig, owner of Leo's Sports Bar. 

Along with the rest of the community Fred Liffrig is prepping for Mazeppa Daze.

"It isn't just one organization," Liffrig said. "There's literally 150 people involved in helping in doing this besides the community itself."

The celebrations begin on a bit of somber note Thursday evening.

That's when families get a chance to dedicate an American flag to a loved one.

Volunteers were out on Wednesday setting up the mounting stakes.

"No we don't do it just for veterans," said Linda Lemmerman, coordinator of Field Of Honor. "We do it for anybody. So if someone has cancer or died in the family they can just donate a flag in their honor."

The ballpark's outfield fills up with more than 300 flags which get Illuminated at night and guarded for 24 hours.

The gratification the families receive can be overwhelming.

"I think it's the fact that they like to hear their dedication," said Mike Holtorf, coordinator of Field Of Honor. "They like to come out, actually take that flag, and place it in this position. Then we, in turn, salute that individual."

"I've always said it's a very patriotic town," Holtorf said. "Anything for the honor guard. It always seems like anyone in our legion club or armed services always want to help out."

The town has a rich history which continues to grow.

The Mazeppa Historical Society takes care of the preservation by planning its annual Cemetery Walk.

"Nobody shall be forgotten," said Helen Reiland, president of the Mazeppa Historical Society. "There's always something special about everybody in this world. Past present and future."

Also in line with preserving traditions is the signage that is found around town.

It's hard to miss, whether it's the post office, W D's Bar, Leo's Sports Bar it was all done by the hand of Mike Meyer.

"That's what I do," Meyer said. "I make everyone in town happy by making pretty letters."

In the end, it's the people, the traditions, and the signs which all, once again add to that small town feel.

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