There are not many places where you will find farmers in tutus, firemen running bases backwards and merchants grabbing corn cobs, but all this and much more will be happening on Saturday, July 28 in Fountain, Minn.
The games will be sponsored by the Fountain 150th Anniversary committee as a fundraiser for next year’s 150th Anniversary celebration.
There will be two softball games played. The first game will start at 2 p.m. and the second game will begin at 3:30. During the second game prizes will be given out, which you will not want to miss.
There are numerous prizes including a DVD player, canopy tent, lawn chairs and gift cards for several local businesses and many other prizes too numerous to list.
Two half hogs will also be awarded to two lucky people (processing not included) that will have their freezers stocked for the winter, thanks to the generosity of Dave Mensink of Mensink Farms.
The “rules,” if you want to refer to them as rules, of the Farmers & Merchants game is very different than what you are accustomed to when watching a softball game.
One inning, for example, is a kick ball game using a kickball instead of a softball. In certain innings, batters wear a tutu or some other costume, and if the batters are able to run the bases they have the opportunity to pick up corn cobs along the way to earn extra runs – but only if they are wearing the assigned costume.
Watching the players run around the bases backwards when required can be very funny especially when they are trying to hurry in order to avoid being thrown out or attempting to get to home plate to score a run.
Probably the funniest part of the Farmers & Merchants softball games are when batters are required to put the end of their bat on the ground, place their foreheads on the smaller end, spin around a number of times which makes them dizzy, and then have to either hit the softball off of a tee or throw it up in the air and hit it.
If the batter actually manages to hit the ball they usually do not have such good luck when trying to run to first base while still dizzy.
Although the softball games are being called Farmers & Merchants softball games, they are also referred to as Town & Country games.
“It’s not like the old days where everybody was a merchant in town,” explains Scott Rustad, member of the Fountain 150th Anniversary celebration committee.
So calling it the Town & Country games seems more fitting for current times, although many remember the games as Farmer’s & Merchant’s games from many years ago.
The Farmers & Merchants games “have been happening since the sixties,” states Rustad. “I remember as a little kid winning a transistor radio,” says Rustad, adding that “back then it was the biggest thing in the world” to him.
The Sinkhole Saloon, a portable bar original to Fountain, will be at the Farmers & Merchants games and will offer cool beverages for attendees who may be a little parched.
As this year’s Farmers & Merchants softball games are a fundraiser for Fountain’s 150th Anniversary celebration there will be 150th Anniversary can coolies for sale as well.
The 150th Anniversary Celebration in Fountain will take place on July 27, 2019, and the committee has some big plans in the works.
The Fabulous Armadillos will be playing in Fountain during the celebration. This popular band is sure to draw a crowd as they play many genres of music including country, heavy metal, Motown and seventies music.
Watching a softball game on a warm summer night is one of the best ways to spend your time and watching such a hilarious softball game can only be better. The Farmers & Merchants games do not happen every year so be sure not to miss this year’s games.
Support the City of Fountain while having a great time making memories with your family with the added possibility of taking home some great prizes!