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Lanesboro’s Buffalo Bill Days 2013 was Ideal

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

Lincoln Theis, of Winona, Minn. at his FATCAPS clothing booth in Sylvan Park. Photo by Barb Jeffers

By Barb Jeffers

The weather for this year’s Buffalo Bill Days in Lanesboro, Minn. was perfect for a weekend spent with family and friends. Everyone attending the event was blessed with sunshine and smiles from friendly faces.

Friday, August 2, 2013 began the three day celebration with the Beer and Brat tent opening next to the Community Center. The softball tournament started Friday evening with many teams competing. Brent Olson, of Lanesboro, was playing softball with the team from the Root River Saloon and stopped by the concession stand at the softball field on Saturday where Kendall Stettler, 10, and Jared Peterson, 10, served him a bite to eat in between games. Also beginning on Friday was a Golf Tournament where players could play 18 holes of golf anytime from Friday at 5 p.m. until Sunday at noon.

Commonweal Theatre of Lanesboro held a production of “Blithe Spirit” on Friday evening, which is a must-see for fans of the Commonweal or first time patrons. “Blithe Spirit” is a “ghostly tale” that runs through September 7, 2013 at the Commonweal Theatre. For more information go to the website for the Commonweal Theatre at www.commonwealtheatre.org.

A street dance was held in front of the Fire Hall on Friday evening with music by “Trouble Shooter” that had the crowd shaking and grooving. Sober Shuttle Rides were offered by R&M Amish Tours of Lanesboro both Friday and Saturday nights. Owners Jamie and Holly Knutson stated that quite a few people took advantage of the sober rides.

The volleyball tournament started on Saturday morning with the softball tournament continuing throughout the day as well. The teams and individual players had a lot of fans watching and supporting them as the tournaments advanced. The Brat and Beer tent, which was located next to the volleyball courts opened at 10 a.m., which was convenient for the audience and the players.

The Market Place and Farmer’s Market opened on Saturday to the delight of many. There was a wide array of interesting items available to purchase at the many different booths that encircled Sylvan Park. Some of the booths were traditional favorites and a few were brand new to Buffalo Bill Days. Lincoln Theis, of Winona, Minn., with FATCAPS clothing was a first-time vendor at this year’s Buffalo Bill Days Market Place. FATCAPS sells custom painted hats and other original “accessorizations” including those made from recycled bicycle jewelry which is very unique. Lincoln stated that he had a great day meeting awesome people during the weekend. Look on FATCAPS facebook page (www.facebook.com/FATCAPSCLOTHING) for more information and to view the items that FATCAPS creates.

An exciting bank robbery took place in Lanesboro on Saturday morning at the Associated Bank. There had been a rumor going around that there were some “bad guys” in town, so a large crowd happened to be standing around the town square at the time of the robbery. All of a sudden a woman came running out of the bank screaming that the bank was being robbed and then gunfire started.

After some of the bank robbers had been “killed” or taken into custody, the women in the scenario (played by Lori Schroeder of Webster, Minn., and Kathy Maloney of Oakdale, Minn.) then started fighting each other for the loot!

Watching the bank robbery with hundreds of others was Paige Neyers, of Winona, Minn. along with Chad and Mandy Schow and their children Dayneson, 1, and Daxson, 4, from Trempealeau, Wis., who enjoyed the show. The audience gave a large round of applause after the performance by the Cannon Old West Society.

A children’s favorite, the petting zoo, was in Sylvan Park again this year and it seemed there were always children present petting the animals and moms with their cameras out to get those precious photographs. Braylen Hanson, 4, son of Chris and Anna Hanson of Lanesboro, was excited to pet the calf and Lydia Bjortomt, 19 months, also from Lanesboro, pointed at the ducks in amazement.

Food was not in short supply over Buffalo Bill Days with various wagons and booths with different kinds of food and drinks like smoothies, cheese curds, and kettle corn just to name a few of the many choices that were available. To the delight of many, Gil B’s Pizza and Sandwich Shoppe of Lanesboro stayed open late over the weekend and also held its grand opening featuring door prizes, cake, and coffee. Free wine tasting offered by the Scenic Valley Winery was also a treat for many attending the weekend of festivities.

Noon on Saturday brought the bean bag tournament in front of the Fire Hall and many teams enjoyed the competition. Also beginning at noon was “kids fun” at Sylvan Park with many games and activities for the children including a water balloon toss and a bouncy slide among others. Destiny Schlichter, 5, of Austin looked adorable after having her face painted with a butterfly in the park.

Bingo took place on Saturday with Brady Ristau, 14, of Preston, Minn. calling numbers while the players closely watched their cards but still managed to keep an eye on all of the activities going on in the park.

The Hahn Family, which included Sam, Jen, Don, Nick 8, and Isabelle 11, from Kasson, Minn. enjoyed playing bingo along with many others. The bingo players could also listen to the various music groups that entertained the crowd in Sylvan Park through the entire weekend. These bands included the “Bandanas,” The “Root River Jam,” the “Arnold Bradley Band,” and “The Alley Cats.”

Commonweal Theatre held two productions on Saturday featuring “Blithe Spirit” followed by “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure,” which made for a very busy weekend for the group of artists at the Commonweal and an enjoyable time for its audiences.

The Beer and Brat tent was full of entertainment over Buffalo Bill Days with the Cannon Old West Society reenacting a “Good Guys vs. Bad Guys” shootout Saturday afternoon and “Next to Nothing” rocking the audience Saturday night.

Once night fell over Lanesboro on Saturday the fireworks began. The City of Lanesboro is fortunate to be able to have fireworks for its celebration, and this is in part due to the fact that the Fire Department pays half the cost. Take time to thank any city employee or member of the Fire Department next time you see them for the exploding array of color and shapes in this year’s display.

Sunday brought an end to the volleyball and softball tournaments after many hard played games. According to Duane Bakke of Lanesboro, who has been organizing the softball tournament since 1978, 25 teams competed this year with first place going to the team from the Patriot’s Pub of St. Charles, Minn. Second place winners were Team Shamus of Caledonia, Minn., and Consolation went to Bunge Construction of Rushford, Minn.

The winners of the Volleyball Tournament are as follows: Upper division winner - the “Bumping Uglies” team consisting of Paul Fishbaugher, Mike Hugesauk, Jennifer Thesing, Jenna Brand, Derek Peterson and Tami Sprenger. Lower division winner - team “Chiggy Liquor,” which included Ashley Wilkemeyer, Kenz Moore, Trevor Moore, Matt Halverson, Heather Vix, and Abe Wilkemeyer.

The Grand Parade was held Saturday afternoon and had everyone lined up and down Parkway Avenue watching as all of the excitement rolled by. Candy was being thrown in every direction, water was being sprayed on those begging to get wet, and many musical groups were in the parade making people clap their hands and sing along. Deb Danielson of Lanesboro and her grandson, Tristan Dauck of Rochester, Minn. were enjoying time together while watching the parade. Tristan’s parents are Rachel and Jeremy Dauck. The Lanesboro High School Band performed wonderfully for their hometown and a local favorite Brad Boice as “Elvis” sang songs people of all ages knew. Cody the Buffalo was in the parade and was also available after the parade to take photos.

Kids fun, bingo, and entertainment continued in Sylvan Park following the parade until slowly the crowd disappeared for another year. The fun did not end after the Marketplace closed, however, as locals know the place to be on Sunday night is in Lanesboro. This year’s entertainment to end Buffalo Bill Days was DJ & Karaoke.

The raffle ticket winners of this year’s Buffalo Bill Days were Jan Gerken, Mary Lou Maxfield, Corrine Hager, Katherine Wade, Heather Brinkhaus, Richard O’Connor, Jeremy O’Connor, Brady Ristau, Carol Hadoff, Greg Schwichtenberg, Dick Haight, Dave Brunsvold, and Randy Pedersen.

Another year of Buffalo Bill Days has come and gone, but the fun times had by all will be remembered until next year when it begins again. The City of Lanesboro hosts a great celebration with so many and activities that there is no shortage of things to do. If anything, it is hard to get to all of the activities that you would like to because there is so much to choose from.

Michele Peterson, deputy clerk for the City of Lanesboro, stated that Buffalo Bill Days was well-attended and was a great weekend enjoyed by all who attended the event. Co-chairs of Buffalo Bill Days 2013 were Mara Drake and Bobbie Vickerman who did a fantastic job with such a large project!

According to Mara Drake Buffalo Bill Days doesn’t really have “sponsors” per se. Individuals, groups, and businesses step up and donate money to the fund. The many people who donate and the volunteers make Buffalo Bill Days better each year and their hard work does not go unnoticed.

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