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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
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May 11, 1999     The Ortonville Independent
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May 11, 1999
 

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I Page 14 Spring & Summer 1999 Big Stone Lake Region Vacation G Ortonville's annual Cornfest Celebration dra large crowds to the Big Stone Lake area By Judy Drewicke The upper midwest is famous for family fun. The sister cities of Big Stone City and Ortonville are no exception. Ortonville's premier event, Comfest, begun in 1931, is a three day celebration during the third weekend of August that attracts throngs of visitors to it's varied activities. There is something to appeal to nearly every age and interest. There's pet shows, kid's carni- vals and pedal tractor pulls, tur- de races, bingo, craft shows, car shows, water fights, boat races, water ski shows, queen contests, parades,, bi .kingflrunningflwalking events, jumor olympics and 3- on-3 basketball, band concerts of all kinds, city tours, fly-in breakfast, lake side non-denom- inational church services, class reunions (and every fifth year, an all school reunion), dances (a teen street dance and the Cornfest Ball), street sales and food vendors, fire works, and more. Presiding over the entire affair is the Cornfest Queen, who is crowned on Friday night in the Ortonville High School Auditorium. Some of the activities are held annually and some on a rotating basis. One of the fun, newest events for the Comfest is night golf, scheduled for Friday evening. In iis fourth year, this event makes the course even more challenging by adding th ele- ment of darkness to the game. Players use luminated balls and there are glow-in-the-dark sticks attatched to the pins. Three person best ball teams compete in the challenging event, which pays cash prizes to the winners. The main attractions, the free cornfest feed and the Grande Parade, take place on Sunday. Thousands are drawn to Lakeside Park to feast on fresh sweet corn cooked with steam heat in huge vats, and then drenched in melted butter. Many families have adopted traditions that dictate an early arrival at the park to stake out "their" ground. Coolers and roasters full of other foods to accompany the delicious sweet corn are brought along. Lawn chairs and blankets or folding tables are toted in and the family settles down for a few hours of camaraderie with friends and neighbors. The children stay busy on the play ground equipment. Music fills the air, which is punctuated from time to time with the shrill sound of the whistle from the steam engine. Craft vendors lining the perimeter of the park beckon with items ranging from the unusual to the personalized to the truly beautiful. Food vendors along the park street emit wonderful smells of other food and tempt you to eat "just a bit more." Everyone heads early for the pie sales at "WHAT'S COOKIN'?" Volunteers at Ortonville's Cornfest help roast thousands of ears of corn to feed the hungry crowd. SOAP BOX RACES, sponsored by local Boy Scouts, are also a popular part of Ortonville's Cornfest activities. VOLUNTEERS PREPARE THE CORN for the sweet corn feed during Cornfest. Melted butter can be smelled all through the town as crowds wait for the delicious treat. .... i ii ' '!iiii!i! ,:! iiiii ' i ONE OF CORNFEST'S MANY ACTIVITIES is the tug 0f war. Shown above, area youngsters fight hard for the t at Ortonville's Lakeside Park. the gazebo to be sure to get a slice of their favorite flavor. When the noon hour has passed, the crowd moves from the park to main street in antici- pation of the parade. A crowd pleaser is the Citizens for Big Stone Lake Lawn Chair Drill team whose banner motto is "We Take Our Leisure Seriously." Then it's back to the lake for the remainder of the Fest's activ- ities which will usually include a water show (The Rochester Ski Team in 1995) followed by an evening concert from the Tri- State Band, awarding of cash prizes from souvenir button sales, and the GRAND FINALE, a fireworks display. This year's 61st annual Cornfest will be held August 20- 22. JUST ONE OF MANY who enjoy free sweet conn each summer as part Ortonville's Cotnfest ebration. I Page 14 Spring & Summer 1999 Big Stone Lake Region Vacation G Ortonville's annual Cornfest Celebration dra large crowds to the Big Stone Lake area By Judy Drewicke The upper midwest is famous for family fun. The sister cities of Big Stone City and Ortonville are no exception. Ortonville's premier event, Comfest, begun in 1931, is a three day celebration during the third weekend of August that attracts throngs of visitors to it's varied activities. There is something to appeal to nearly every age and interest. There's pet shows, kid's carni- vals and pedal tractor pulls, tur- de races, bingo, craft shows, car shows, water fights, boat races, water ski shows, queen contests, parades,, bi .kingflrunningflwalking events, jumor olympics and 3- on-3 basketball, band concerts of all kinds, city tours, fly-in breakfast, lake side non-denom- inational church services, class reunions (and every fifth year, an all school reunion), dances (a teen street dance and the Cornfest Ball), street sales and food vendors, fire works, and more. Presiding over the entire affair is the Cornfest Queen, who is crowned on Friday night in the Ortonville High School Auditorium. Some of the activities are held annually and some on a rotating basis. One of the fun, newest events for the Comfest is night golf, scheduled for Friday evening. In iis fourth year, this event makes the course even more challenging by adding th ele- ment of darkness to the game. Players use luminated balls and there are glow-in-the-dark sticks attatched to the pins. Three person best ball teams compete in the challenging event, which pays cash prizes to the winners. The main attractions, the free cornfest feed and the Grande Parade, take place on Sunday. Thousands are drawn to Lakeside Park to feast on fresh sweet corn cooked with steam heat in huge vats, and then drenched in melted butter. Many families have adopted traditions that dictate an early arrival at the park to stake out "their" ground. Coolers and roasters full of other foods to accompany the delicious sweet corn are brought along. Lawn chairs and blankets or folding tables are toted in and the family settles down for a few hours of camaraderie with friends and neighbors. The children stay busy on the play ground equipment. Music fills the air, which is punctuated from time to time with the shrill sound of the whistle from the steam engine. Craft vendors lining the perimeter of the park beckon with items ranging from the unusual to the personalized to the truly beautiful. Food vendors along the park street emit wonderful smells of other food and tempt you to eat "just a bit more." Everyone heads early for the pie sales at "WHAT'S COOKIN'?" Volunteers at Ortonville's Cornfest help roast thousands of ears of corn to feed the hungry crowd. SOAP BOX RACES, sponsored by local Boy Scouts, are also a popular part of Ortonville's Cornfest activities. VOLUNTEERS PREPARE THE CORN for the sweet corn feed during Cornfest. Melted butter can be smelled all through the town as crowds wait for the delicious treat. .... i ii ' '!iiii!i! ,:! iiiii ' i ONE OF CORNFEST'S MANY ACTIVITIES is the tug 0f war. Shown above, area youngsters fight hard for the t at Ortonville's Lakeside Park. the gazebo to be sure to get a slice of their favorite flavor. When the noon hour has passed, the crowd moves from the park to main street in antici- pation of the parade. A crowd pleaser is the Citizens for Big Stone Lake Lawn Chair Drill team whose banner motto is "We Take Our Leisure Seriously." Then it's back to the lake for the remainder of the Fest's activ- ities which will usually include a water show (The Rochester Ski Team in 1995) followed by an evening concert from the Tri- State Band, awarding of cash prizes from souvenir button sales, and the GRAND FINALE, a fireworks display. This year's 61st annual Cornfest will be held August 20- 22. JUST ONE OF MANY who enjoy free sweet conn each summer as part Ortonville's Cotnfest ebration.