40th annual convention to be held at Orchid Inn next week.

According to their website, the Old Sleepy Eye Collectors Club of America (OSECC) was founded in 1976 to preserve the heritage of the Old Sleepy Eye Flour Mill and collectible advertising items that were created by the mill. The club has held annual conventions, usually in larger cities, often in Iowa. But every so often - maybe every five or ten years - they come to Sleepy Eye to experience the community where it all began.

OSECC will come back to Sleepy Eye next week for the 40th Annual Old Sleepy Eye Convention. The event will take place Friday and Saturday, July 31 and August 1, at the Orchid Inn. The convention floor will feature sales tables both days, and an auction on Saturday morning.

Registered convention attendees each receive a special commemorative - a collectible item commissioned especially for the convention. The commemorative design is kept secret until the convention begins.

On Friday the club members will be welcomed to Sleepy Eye by Chamber Director Trista Barka, attend a seminar by Mike Mason at Sleepy Eye Stained Glass, and tour the old Sleepy Eye Flour Mill with owner Bob Pelzel.

There will be a bus tour of local sites on Friday afternoon with a special stop at the Depot Museum. There, the Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society will host a “Thank You” Gathering for Old Sleepy Eye club member Willy Turner of Kansas. Turner will be recognized for his generosity to the historical society.

On Friday evening the OSECC Annual Meeting will be held at the Orchid Inn.

The highlight of Saturday’s schedule is the auction of Old Sleepy Eye collectibles starting at 10 a.m. Viewing of auction items begins at 8 a.m.

The club will have a board meeting Saturday afternoon, followed by a banquet for all members to close out the convention.