WEST SALEM, Wis. - There are plenty of reasons to stop by the La Crosse Interstate Fair this weekend, but a big one is that delicious fair food - and there's at least one food stand that's been waiting there for you for nearly half a century.
Back in the 70s, Kathleen Emstrand and her husband quit their jobs to join the fair food cart business. The La Crosse Interstate Fair was their first stop in what became a 42-year-long journey that's taken them to hundreds of fairs across the country.
"We started in 1973, and most people didn't know what a mini-donut was down here," Kathleen remembers."
Kathleen says she quickly fell in love with the business, selling donuts at county fairs as "The Donut Family."
"It's a happy business. Fairs are fun," she says. "When people come up here to buy a donut, they're happy, they're joyful, and they're here to have fun."
More than 40 years after starting here, Kathleen and her husband and back this year - you wouldn't be able to tell, but they're both retired. Most of their children have taken over their four donut trucks, though they always come back to the place they started - the La Crosse Fair.
"We're doing what we like to do, with any job, it's important to like what you're doing," Kathleen says. "If you don't like it, you're not going to good a job at it. If you're not happy to be there, you shouldn't be here. And we're happy to be here."
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