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Peterson set for a big trail town celebration

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 30th, 2013
Posted in Peterson Features

This year’s events will feature a sheep shearing demonstration as well as several other farm life and wildlife events. Photo submitted

By Kirsten Zoellner

The Taste of the Trail, now in its third season, is a Root River Trail premier event. Showcasing nine towns along the trail, during various weekends, the event is the culmination of unique events, the beauty of the natural surroundings, and the bountiful tastes that can be found from restaurants and growers in the area.

Peterson’s celebration is slated for Saturday, September 14 and is jam-packed with a little something for everyone. Dubbed “A Celebration of Farm Life and Wildlife,” the event kicks off at 10 a.m. in downtown Peterson and runs until 3 p.m.

Eight vendors will have locally grown goods or full meals available and six are slated to present free samples. Local restaurant Burdey’s Café will showcase tastes of the fall harvest. Chef Steve Burdey is planning to serve samples of roasted and curried Butternut squash soup, while wife Kristin, who is famous for her pies, serves up homemade dessert delicacies.

Just down the street, in the refurbished bandstand, just south of city hall, local band Highway 30 will entertain with country music while the Fillmore County Cattlemen will serve their popular grilled hamburgers. Also nearby, Whitlock’s will feature a taste of raw honey and Ostrem’s Sweet Corn will have samples of uniquely delicious corn jelly, in addition to fresh sweet corn for sale.

Across Mill Street, Geneva’s old-fashioned ice cream shop will have eight flavors of their Chocolate Factory ice cream for sample, as well as $1 cones. Also in Geneva’s, award-winning Biggin’s BBQ will offer up a mouth-watering sampling of pulled pork, smoked turkey, and smoked pork. Full meals will be available. Just up the street, Chiggy’s will offer a wide sampling of Oktoberfest brews and fall wines. Outdoor on the Chiggy’s deck, an Amish market of baked and canned goods and produce will be on hand.

For further entertainment, you can walk or take a quaint $1 Amish buggy ride from the Peterson Station Museum to the city park pavilion. Down at the park, at the south end of Fillmore Street, various farm life and wildlife presentations be held throughout the day.

New this year is the English Gardens Fiber Mill and Sheep Farm of Caledonia, Minn. A full-service cottage fiber mill providing washing, picking, carding, pin drafting, spinning and felting, the farm is home to heritage Blue Faced Leicester and English Leicester Sheep. Beginning at 10 a.m. with a sheep shearing demonstration, the farm will highlight the process from fleece to useable product. Also scheduled are spinning, carding, felting, and knitting demonstrations. A wide array of wool fiber products will be available for purchase.

Another highlight of the wild side, from 10-1, includes a visit from Cody the Buffalo of Money Creek Buffalo Ranch in Houston. Part majestic, part gentle giant, Cody is always a hit! Owner Buffalo Gal will be available to answer questions, for photos, as well as having several buffalo products available for purchase.

If that doesn’t thrill you enough, Naturalist Kery Erickson of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park will present a live rattlesnake demonstration, including feeding (a feeding time announcement will be made that day). Fellow naturalist Mike Donker will educate and fascinate with a hands-on wildlife demonstration, including skulls, furs, and feathers, all found in Root River valley. A petting zoo put forth by 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) is also planned. And, if you’re looking for something a bit slower, there will be an antique tractor display.

Another new addition to the fun this year, and certainly highlight, is a 2 p.m. outdoor theatre presentation especially for youth. Put on by Theater for the Thirsty, and sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the production of Three Stories Tall will be held on the hillside by the park pavilion. Already gaining rave reviews, including Triple Espresso theatre producer Dennis Babcock, who dubbed it, ‘The best theatre I’ve ever seen,’ will be a welcome addition to the day and a draw for the city and its events.

“We’ve seen it before, but are driving the whole family down for the day. We can hardly wait,” says Gary and Avis of Cannon Falls, Minn. in an email to Peterson.

The production is made up of three short story performances. The first story, Hold the Boat, is the story of a boy trying to sneak onto Noah’s ark. How the Groo Grew, the second tale, centers around monsters, forgiveness, and sibling rivalry. The production wraps up with The Tale of the Three Trees, a classic folk tale. The entire production is free of charge. An evening performance is slated in Rushford at Rushford Lutheran Church. Tickets for the evening performance are $5.

“This year is going to be so great,” notes Peterson organizer Gail Boyum. “We’ve already heard that people will be coming from far and wide for the day. It’s a lot of fun for the whole family.”

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