Høstfest volunteers since beginning

Bill and Marlys Klimpel, of Minot, have been volunteering at Norsk Hstfest since it began more than three decades ago. The annual festival is going into its 36th year.

“We haven’t missed a day of Hstfest,” said Marlys.

On the first day of the Hstfest they could be found by the doors at the main entrance, with Bill fastening entrance wristbands on visitors and Marlys nearby helping as they arrived.

They used to sell the commemorative coins, but aren’t doing that this year, Marlys said.

They are helping in other ways at the event this year. Marlys said they normally put in 12-hour days there.

In earlier years Bill took care of the consignments of clothing for the Hstfest booths. He also worked with the Sons of Norway raffles and dances, with Marlys helping.

When Hstfest is over Marlys works for a time at the Norsk Hstfest office on South Broadway.

The Hstfest is a special time for the couple, and for Marlys it’s part of her heritage. “My dad was born in Norway,” she said. She said Hstfest is next to being in Norway. She has been to Norway six times and visited relatives there.

Bill, of German and German-Russian roots, and their son, Malenius Klimpel, also have been to Norway a few times.

Bill is employed at Minot State University and during the tax season Marlys works at H&R Block.

But Norsk Hstfest is an event they look forward to each year.

“We enjoy being around people,” she said.