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Canton was right on with Day Off

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in Canton Features

Braylee Stortz, 3, has her Fireman's hat half full of candy and prizes from the Canton Day Off Parade. Parents are Derek and Jenna Stortz of Mabel, Minn. Photo by Barb Jeffers

The city of Canton, Minn. celebrated its 135th Day Off celebration with hundreds of residents and visitors enjoying three days of summertime fun August 15 - 17, 2014.

A softball tournament got the weekend started Friday and continued through Sunday at the newly dedicated Ralph Leistikow Field. The beer tent opened at the Fest Grounds just in time for the All School Gathering at the Fest Tent. It was a time for people to see and talk with those they may not have seen for many years.

Contestants took the Bloody Mary contest seriously in the Fest Tent Friday evening while younger folks were not so serious while dancing to DJ Dewy during the Teen Dance at the Town Hall.

While the teenagers had their fun adults gathered at the Fest Tent for the Raiders Rendezvous Prom where participants dressed in their favorite prom dress, suit, or other attire. The prom included a Grand March with some vintage suits and dresses with music provided by DJ Stateline Entertainment.

Two couples attending the prom were Charles and Ruby Oian and Arnie and Karen Arneson who have a long and special history together. The two couples double-dated many times in high school including prom and have stayed close throughout the years. The dresses Ruby and Karen wore to the Raiders Rendezvous Prom were the same prom dresses they wore in 1963. Ruby states that both couples married in 1964 and celebrated their 50th anniversaries together during the prom. The Arneson’s live in rural Canton and the Oian’s live in Winona, Minn.

Activities began early on Saturday with the Raiders Dash 5K Run/Walk Race with participants gathering at the school and getting their exercise while enjoying the morning and the company of friends and family while looking forward to the events which were planned for the rest of the day.

Homemade breads and pies of all types were brought in to the town hall by proud bakers to be sampled by some very lucky judges. Farmers and tractor enthusiasts also came together for a Tractor Ride downtown Saturday morning.

An Antique and Working Truck Show was held all day Saturday at TJ’s Cafe bringing many people to walk around and take a look at the impressive trucks of all kinds. The Truck Show was sponsored by Severson Oil Company, Mileage Gas & Diesel Fuel Islands, Preston Dairy & Farm, Nuss Truck & Equipment, Bruening Rock Products, Inc., and Davis Construction.

The Historical Society held a gathering at the Community Center while others gathered for the Boomer Backyard BBQ Judging at the town hall. The smell of meat cooking on the grills traveled through the fest grounds making mouths water.

Kids laughed while throwing balls and hitting the target of the dunk tank sending volunteers into the water below. The dunk tank was a fundraiser for the Mabel-Canton cheerleaders. Children also had a great time with the entertainment provided by Jolly Jumpz and everyone enjoyed the talent of the Pronschinske Irish Entertainment at the town hall.

A long line of semi’s rolled down Canton’s Main Street waving and honking, with some throwing candy, the trucks were followed by the American Legion members marching with flags flying and the crowd standing to salute as the Grand Parade got underway.

Grand Marshals Hank and Rita Seldon, Marlene Wisland, Donald “Butch” Helgeson, Irene Rice, and Audrey Snyder rode together in a wagon smiling and saying hello to everyone in the crowd.

Members of the Canton Fire Department handed out miniature firemen’s hats to excited kids and even a few adults could be seen sporting the little hats. Many other emergency response vehicles, belonging to Canton and area towns, were included in the parade as well as local businesses and more fun entrants. Braylee Stortz, 3, of Mabel, used the fireman’s hat she was given to hold her candy and other goodies from the parade and had the hat half full before the parade had even ended.

Little ones had their hands busy during the Coin Dig which was sponsored by the First Southeast Bank following the parade while adults had their own entertainment listening to Charlie Warner and then an Old Time Dance featuring the Toe Tappers.

A church service was held by the Canton - Scotland Presbyterian Church Saturday evening as people gathered together in fellowship. Music by Cherry Gun rounded out the nights festivities playing in the Fest Tent.

Sunday brought a crowd to the Assumption Catholic Church for a delicious Meatball & Salad Bar Dinner. Member Evelyn Johnson was busy on Saturday selling raffle tickets to those who were feeling lucky. After filling up on meatballs and all the trimmings some people burned a few of those calories off during the Bed Races held downtown.

Canton Speedway was the place to be for exciting races Sunday afternoon with a $100 purse in all classes. A Powerwheels race was held during intermission and a Powder Puff Race took place following the feature races.

Pay out sponsors for the races were Putt Putt - Myers Trucking, LLC, Rookie - Mike and Krissy Kelly, Jr. 1 - Brian and Shelby Gjere, Jr. 2 - Tony and Paula Severson, and Open class - Ben and Kim Gravos.

The celebration continued Sunday afternoon with Bingo at the Fest Tent and a dance with music by The Country Cousins. Many kinds of food and drinks were available during Canton Day Off including brats, hot dogs, walking tacos, BBQ pulled pork, mini donuts, cheese curds, and funnel cakes to name a few.

Fireworks lit up the sky Sunday at dusk bringing small groups together to watch the colors bursting among the stars bringing Canton Day Off to an exciting end.

It takes many volunteers for a small town to put on such a large celebration and in many cases the entire family gets involved such as the Melander family. Lolly and her son Garrett, who is 13, were selling tickets and Lolly’s daughter, Lexi, 15, was selling wristbands. Lolly was also involved in judging the BBQ contest and is also the city clerk/treasurer for the City of Canton. Another volunteer, Jason Magnuson, was serving up beers with a smile in the Beer Tent.

Whether a current resident, someone coming back home for the weekend, or a first time visitor, the City of Canton welcomed everyone to take a day, or a weekend, off to stop and enjoy the summer while it is still here.

To view additional photos from Canton Day Off visit the Fillmore County Journal’s Facebook page.

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