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T is for...Fountain Trail Days

Fri, Jun 18th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

Kids of all ages eagerly hunt for colored chips to turn in for money while their parents watch at the Trail Days coin dig. Photo By Abby Stocker

I attended my first-ever Trail Days in Fountain on Saturday, June 12. Seeing as the founders of such a fine community event probably thought long and hard about their festival's name before officially creating it, I've decided that the only way to truly describe Trail Days is by using its name.

T is for Tractor Pull. In addition to being the first Trail Days I have attended, June 12 also marked the first real tractor pull I have witnessed. Twenty seven tractors completed the pull, which involved hauling a 33,000-pound truck as far as possible across a lot. Many of the tractors did remarkably well, managing to pull their huge load most of the way across the lot. Tractors were divided into classes by weight and by their use, either sportsman's or farmstock. Several of the tractors' front ends actually raised into the air as they reached the end of their hauls. Despite the weather, the tractor pull was a very interesting way to begin Trail Days.

R is for rain. Though the weather cleared up before the parade, many of the morning activities were marked by the cold and wet. This, however, could not stop many locals and visitors from turning out to participate in the tractor pull, the dunk tank, and or the various food booths and fundraisers occurring downtown.

A is for athletes. The rain could not stop seven teams of fearless volleyball players from descending on the sand volleyball pits at the Fountain City Park. The teams played every other team before being ranked for a double elimination tournament. The playing threatened to drag on through the rain, but the players were not daunted: according to Robin Scheu, one of the volleyball players, "It's a great day for playing volleyball!"

I is for ice cream and food. Many Trail Days attendees were spotted with cones from the Village Square restaurant, while others sipped root beer floats from a booth supporting Relay for Life. The Pork Producers also had a trailer, where they sold pork burgers and pop. The variety of food available ensured that no Trail Days visitor left hungry.

L is for locals. Without local participation and support, community events such as Trail Days would not be possible. A great example of this was the number of fire engines and ambulances from Fountain and surrounding communities participating in the parade...I counted at least two ambulances and seven fire trucks hailing from Fountain, Chatfield, Preston, and Lanesboro.

D is for the dunk tank, where I had the privilege of throwing a baseball and dunking the Journal's editor, Jason Sethre. Various other "local celebrities" also spent time sitting in the tank in the rain, including Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen, Fillmore County Attorney Brett Corson, Lanesboro Physical Education Teacher Lindsey Mace, Darrin Cambern of Willie's Grocery and Locker in Fountain, and Fountain Mayor Richard Kujath. Proceeds went towards Relay for Life.

A is also for activities for all ages. The most notable such event was the Grand Parade, which showcased an assortment of almost 80 floats, cars, tractors, and bands. The Chatfield Brass Band gave a concert after the parade while a bean bag tournament was held on Main Street. The Tractor Pull drew spectators both old and young. Free horse-drawn wagon rides delighted all ages in the afternoon. In addition, the Fillmore County History Centre held an open house all day in celebration of its Grand Re-opening.

Y is for young people...activities for young people, that is. Opportunities to participate in a moon walk, a kids' carnival, and a coin dig in sawdust sponsored by Root River Hardwoods occupied some young people in the morning, while a tractor pedal pull and bike giveaway in the afternoon entertained others. And of course, what young person doesn't love gathering candy at a parade?

Finally, S is for songs and street dances. The Chatfield Brass Band, Fillmore Central Marching Band, Steve Arnold and Walter Bradley Band, and DJ Guido all made appearances throughout the day, filling the streets with their diverse music. DJ Guido was also present for a street dance held on Main Street in the evening.

Trail Days 2010 was a colorful experience that drew many people for entertainment and good, old-fashioned fun in spite of the rain. I could try to describe it with adjectives, but the name really says it all.

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Studio A Photography