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Small hitch in Western Days


Fri, Aug 15th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Features

A young parade viewer gets "smoked" by Chang the Dragon with the Osman Shrine Rochester Dragon Patrol during the Western Days parade on Saturday, August 9, 2014. Photo by Barb Jeffers

Although Western Days 2014 in Chatfield, Minn. started out a little bumpy with the carnival rides not arriving as they were scheduled, the city went forward with the many other activities that had been planned for the 47th annual celebration.

Cody Rides, of Prior Lake, Minn. has been supplying rides to Chatfield Western Days for many years and this year the company did not show up. Phone calls from the Fillmore County Journal to get answers were not returned by Cody Rides.

Many other fun and exciting events were planned for Western Days and they all went on without a hitch. The activities began Thursday, August 7 with a used book sale behind the library offering good books at great prices. Chatfield Fish & Game Club held Open “Trap Shooting” on Thursday night bringing people out to enjoy a summer evening.

Thursday evening was Mutton Bustin’ time for kids as they gathered at Mill Creek Park to try riding a sheep, many for the first time. The kids wrapped themselves around the sheep and held on as best they could. The first 50 entrants received free T-shirts, and all participants received a certificate for a Dairy Queen ice cream cone, while many kids took home a trophy as well.

Wits’ End Theatre provided entertainment for many with their production of “Legally Blonde - the Musical” at the Historic Potter Auditorium several times over the weekend. Crowds could be seen entering Potter Auditorium to watch local talent in action.

A Chatfield ATV Trail Ride was held on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. and had many people excited for an outing with friends and family while others found their excitement watching the Minnesota Horse and Pony Pullers which took place at Mill Creek Park.

Friday also brought a car wash at Bernard Bus Garage as a fundraiser for the Chatfield High School volleyball players and the girls did a great job washing and drying vehicles so they shined. F & M Bank of Chatfield held their annual Western Days Cookout in the parking lot from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. with many enjoying a meal while talking with friends.

Bingo started in the city park on Friday, hosted by the Chatfield Fish & Game Club, and continued on Saturday and Sunday and had guests sitting down to play continuously each day.

Food and drink were not in short supply in the city park and throughout town during Western Days. Gleason’s Concessions were feeding hungry players in the volleyball and softball tournaments at Mill Creek Park, restaurants had specials while others also had food stands in the park such as JW’s Silver Grille which was sponsored by the Chatfield Brass Band. R-4 Meats served steak sandwiches, huge turkey drumsticks, Windsor chops, and more.

The Methodist Church’s food stand was busy and the line for cheese curds seemed to never end. Frappes and smoothies were a cool treat on a warm day as was lemonade served up by Brandon Skeems. Walking taco’s and Stumpy’s pizza were other selections among many over the weekend.

The “Golden Girls” Aerobic Dance group showed their talent on Friday evening followed by the “Kiddie Parade” which rolled through the city park with kids dressed in costumes and riding bikes, big wheels, riding in wagons, and even riding in a boat while some chose to walk.

Entertainment for Friday night was a Teen Dance provided by KROC’s “Music on Wheels” at Bernard Bus Garage complete with prizes. A large number of attendees danced to their favorite songs both new and old and had fun just hanging out with friends. The event was sponsored by the Chatfield Booster Club and the Class of 2015.

For the 20th year the Western Days “STAMPEDE” took place beginning the events for Saturday with a 10K, a 2 Mile - then 1 Mile “FUN” run. It was a great way to start the day for those who joined in the fun.

A sand volleyball tournament was held with 16 teams participating in two divisions, according to organizer Aric Swancutt. The winner in the upper division was team “Don’t give a Hit” and team “Get it Up” took the lower division.

A Saddle Club activity, sponsored by Eastwood Bank, was the Royalty Contest at Mill Creek Park Saturday morning which many attended to begin the day’s long list of fun events.

The Beer Garden, hosted by the Chatfield Fire Department, opened Saturday and drew a large crowd. People in the Beer Garden also had a nice view of the activities in the city park right across the street.

Chatfield EMS sponsored blood pressure checks and offered First Aid in the city park on Saturday and many attendees took the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked by the knowledgeable members of the EMS.

The Grand Parade took place at 1 p.m. with Grand Marshal Rose McClimon-Hamlin smiling as she waved to the crowd. Mike Touhy was chosen as Honorary Grand Marshal for this year’s Western Days and rode in the parade with his wife, Gina, and the couple also happily waved to the crowd.

One of the most meaningful entries in the parade was the 48 foot mobile “RIVERINE FORCE” Vietnam Military Mini-Museum which was parked in front of the Chatfield VFW following the parade for people to view. The parade was the highlight of the weekend for many whether participating or watching.

After the parade the Chatfield Brass Band played for the community followed by “Casey & the Good Timers” who got the viewers moving to the music. The weekend was full of music with several venues supplying entertainment some of which included “Bandtown Friday Night Jam” CBB Jazz Combo with Steve Strange in the Band shell, Kent Larson, Brad Boice as “Elvis,” and the “Polka Dots.”

The “Stand Still” Tractor Parade held at the Chosen Valley Care Center had both care center residents and visitors enjoying and appreciating the different types of tractors. The Chatfield Historical Museum/Pease Museum and the Veteran’s Memorial Museum were both open to have their collections of items appreciated as well.

A Men’s ASA Softball Tournament with two divisions began on Saturday with both local teams and traveling teams competing. One team that traveled to Chatfield to play was team “Animal House” from LaCrosse, Wis. who not only enjoyed playing ball but also the beautiful weather.

Farming enthusiasts had to stop by to take a look at the Tractor & Implement Display located in the parking lot of Olmsted Medical Center sponsored by the FFA and Alumni while the Crafter’s and Flea Market in the city park also had many interesting items to stroll through and look at possibly even finding something to take home.

An additional event that took place on Saturday was a Trail Ride sponsored by Eastwood Bank and was a good time for all who participated especially with weather cooperating nicely.

Yet more musical entertainment could be found Saturday evening with “Booker & Friends” at Bernard Bus Garage followed by “LOST HIGHWAY.” The event was sponsored by the Chatfield Booster Club, KWWK 96.5 Quick Country Radio, and the Class of 2015. The night of fun was described in the Western Days advertising as an “Educational and Community Fundraiser” and brought many in the community together to sing and dance along.

A Sunday morning non-denominational “Community Church Service” brought people together once again in the city park and later in the day there were square dancers swinging their partners in the park.

The Saddle Club held its horse show Sunday morning with horses and riders putting on a great show for everyone in the crowd. A bean bag tournament was held at the Chatfield Fire Hall and had teams playing against each other while still enjoying each others company.

The 16th annual Classic Car, Truck and Antique Motorcycle Show had several streets lined with vehicles most people would love to own and there were some impressive motorcycles as well.

The Bluff Country Hiking Club sponsored a hike on the “Lost Creek Hiking Trail” on Sunday which gave people another chance to be outside in the summer weather while it is here.

Kids had a busy day on Sunday with the Coin Find at the city park which was followed by a Pedal Pull sponsored by Hammell Equipment Co. and Computer Danamics. Each child who participated received a can of pop and the winners received trophies.

Thanks to the Chatfield Athletic Club, Chatfield Fire Fighters Activity Association, Chatfield Booster Club, and Chatfield EMS the city was treated to fireworks filling the sky Sunday night at dusk. Lew’s Fireworks of Watertown, S.D. created a wonderful array bright explosions of color marking the end of Western Days 2014.

Many volunteers spent countless hours creating this year’s Western Days celebration full of fun and excitement. These people did a great job providing four days full of laughs and memories.

To view hundreds of photos from Western Days 2014 visit the Facebook page of the Fillmore County Journal.

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