After missing so many beloved events, traditions really, in the last year due to COVID, local residents will be happy to hear that some towns are planning on holding events again this year, but they will also be disappointed that some events will not be, and may not ever, come back.
One of those big events that was cancelled in 2020 was Preston Trout Days, which will be held May 14 and 15, 2021. “Last year COVID was still so new that although I was sad we had to cancel everything, it really was the right thing to do. Businesses didn’t know what the future would hold and they are some of our biggest supporters when it comes to Trout Days,” says Gabby Kinneberg, the EDA director and tourism director in Preston.
“We had some successful safe events later in 2020 but it’s been a long time since I have been working on event planning. I am VERY excited to have some events happening for Trout Days. It feels like some normalcy for the community and I think people will enjoy the weekend,” states Kinneberg.
“We are able to have a lot of events thankfully because so much of what we do Trout Days weekend happens outdoors. With some looser restrictions this year we have adjusted a few events and decided to hold off on a few things until next year, but overall, we were able to keep a lot,” explains Kinneberg.
“Community members are excited to see Trout Days happening. We have a good balance of activities for all ages,” she notes.
“We, of course, hope people still respect guidelines that will be in place at the time of the event. The hardest part with planning is not knowing what guidelines will be in place. Preston City Council has been very supportive of us moving forward with plans,” comments Kinneberg.
“If we have nice weather, Trout Days weekend will be a great kickoff to summer! I truly believe that our little slice of the state will be very busy this summer thanks to our outdoor recreation. People truly love coming to Bluff Country,” states Kinneberg.
The Preston Trout Days activities will begin on Friday, May 14 with an all day opportunity to Fish the National Trout Center’s 9-Hole Fishing Course. A map for the course can be found on the trout days website. Garage sales will also be taking place throughout the day. These two events will actually be taking place both Friday and Saturday.
No need to cook on Friday evening as the Preston EMS will be serving a Takeout Steak Dinner Fundraiser at the EMS Building. And after a great meal you may as well keep the night going and dance to DJ Brandon Hanson at the Preston Servicemen’s Club, starting at 7 pm.
Get up bright and early on Saturday, May 15 to get the most out of your day at all the Trout Days events. That includes the youth as well because the Kids Fishing Contest begins at 9 a.m. at Camp Creek outside of Preston.
The Beer and Bloody Marys Tent opens at 9 a.m. with ice cold beverages and the Preston Pop Up Market on Fillmore Street downtown begins at the same time, so after you have a refreshment or two be sure to check out all that the Pop Up Market will have to offer.
The Driftless Fly Fishing Company will be offering an Orvis Fly Fishing 101 class for those who have never been fly fishing or maybe could use a refresher course. More delicious food will be available at the Preston Servicemen’s Club as they will begin serving a chicken BBQ meal at 10 a.m.
The Preston Historical Society will have open tours of the caboose at the Trailhead, which adults and kids will find interesting. Another event all generations will appreciate is the “Straight out of COVID” Show and Shine Car Show on Main Street downtown, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and beginning at noon there will be a Just For Kix performance held in the same location.
The Preston Fire Department will have their Beer Garden at the fire hall and would love to have residents and visitors stop in to say hello and it would also be a good chance to have a cool drink before the Grand Parade starts at 4 p.m.
Following the parade will be the Kid’s Pedal Pull in the west courthouse parking lot, which is another event that entertains people of all ages. The Preston Veteran’s Scholarship Fund Drawing will also be held after the parade at the Preston Servicemen’s Club.
Singing and dancing should be on your schedule for Saturday night, as Brenda and Matt Stier will be providing live music at Trout City Brewing after the parade and the Time and a Half Band will be playing at the Preston Servicemen’s Club from 7-11 p.m.
A great way to end Trout Days will be with the Fireworks that the Preston Fire Department will set off from the Branding Iron Hill, starting at dusk.
Although we may not be able to celebrate in the exact same way as we have in the past, it is a hopeful feeling to have so many fun events coming back to Preston Trout Days in 2021!
For more information about Preston Trout Days visit www.prestontroutdays.com or email Kinneberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Grove also had to cancel their town celebration, Syttende Mai, in 2020. “It was a bummer, of course. We had all of our meetings leading up to that weekend, planning out our one weekend of events and it all went away just like that!” states Patrick Longmire, who is part of the planning committee for Syttende Mai.
“We’re just happy to be back at it and being able to do something for our community again this year,” comments Longmire.
Syttende Mai will be held May 14-16 with many fun events we have all missed over the last year.
There will be citywide garage sales Friday and Saturday, with treasures galore. The Norwegian Ridge Birding & Nature Trail will be available all three days of Syttende Mai.
A Blast-Off Banquet will take place Friday evening, with delicious food and drinks and an enjoyable program to crown this year’s King of the Trolls, Mest Hoyaktet Dame (Most Honored Lady), Honorary Norwegian, Business Person of the Year, Parade Marshalls and the 2021 Syttende Mai Royalty. Get your tickets early for this entertaining event!
The Spring Grove Legion will have a brat stand Friday afternoon, Bingo Friday night, as well as DJ Dewy entertaining the crowd.
Saturday begins on a delicious note with Dad’s Waffle Breakfast at the Fest Building, followed by the Classic Car Show, yoga session in the park and then the Running with My Gnomies 5K begins at 9 a.m., which is an event many people are looking forward to participating in, and The Spring Grove Public Library will have a Piece Makers Quilt Guild Quilt Show.
A wide array of fun continues with a Nerf War in the yard at Trinity Church, Balloons by Kevin, Tappy’s Face Painting and the Nordic Dancers in Viking Memorial Park. By that time you will be ready for a mouthwatering lunch of pork burgers served up by the Athletic Boosters in front of the Corner Store.
The main attraction, the Syttende Mai Grand Parade will be held Saturday at noon and you can bet that everyone in attendance will appreciate being together for the parade this year! After the parade be sure to check out the YOOH performance of Comedy of Errors in Trollskogen Park, and if you miss it you have another chance to see it on Sunday.
Saturday afternoon brings even more excitement for the kids with the Kid’s Pedal Pull at the Fest Building and Soap Box Races on South Division Ave. And for you corn hole enthusiasts, the Coulee Region Corn Hole check in will be at 1 p.m.
Music rounds out the day with Tom Carpenter at the Legion, as well as other local bands playing in town.
Sunday brings comfort food in the form of the Trinity Lutheran Church Meatball Dinner and the day is sure to bring some reminiscing at the Alumni Baseball Game at Blaine Onsgard Memorial Field.
For more information on Syttende Mai 2021, visit sgsyttendemai.com.
Spring Grove’s Musikk Fest will also take place in 2021 although, “We have decided to search for better weather and move Musikk Fest to June 26 this year,” states Longmire. Featured artists include Tracy Byrd, Kimberly Dunn and The Caminos. For more information on Musikk Fest visit www.musikkfestmn.com.
Unfortunately, the Whalan Stand Still parade will not take place in 2021 and the future of the infamous parade itself is in question.
“Right now it’s cancelled for this year – there will be no Stand Still Parade,” states Marlys Tuftin, mayor of Whalan.
“If we continue with the Stand Still Parade in years to come, we need to have people volunteer to be on the planning committee,” she explains. “If they don’t want to see it go away they will have to step up,” says Tuftin, noting, “it takes a lot of people to actually pull it off” each year. This statement seems to be a familiar concern for many town events.
Although some events are back this year, they may not be held in the exact same way as in the past, and there will be events that will still not be able to be held, but the best we can do is be happy for what we do have to enjoy and look forward to what the next year holds.