The Fest is Yet to Come

Cash prizes, ages, visitors, watermelon seed spitting distances, and pastries: Minnesota’s festivals by the numbers


Total prize money up for grabs at the 26th annual Hamel Rodeo & Bull Ridin’ Bonanza, to be held July 6 to 9 at Corcoran Lions Park. More than 400 cowgirls and cowboys from across the United States and Canada are expected to show for the state’s largest rodeo. Come to see bareback ridin’, calf ropin’, steer wrestlin’—even stick-pony races for the kids. The top individual bucks—$7,500—go to the winner of the Bull Ridin’ Bonanza. Yeeeehaw.


Age of Hinckley’s annual Corn & Clover Carnival, set for July 7 to 9. Highlights include the Little Miss Hinckley and Miss Hinckley pageants, a firefighter’s pancake breakfast, a parade with more than 10 marching bands, a dance performance by the Granite City Cloggers, and hot-air balloon and midway rides. Known for decades as the Korn & Klover Karnival, the event embraced the letter C in 1996. Kool.


Number of visitors served at Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes last summer. On July 11, stop by the annual underground bean bake in Bobberland Park to watch the burying of five gigantic cast-iron pots; come back on July 12 for the crowning of King or Queen Bean—and, of course, lunch. Free beans, buns, and lemonade. Bottles of Beano that’ll be sold in area stores on those days: probably every last one.


feet. Record distance achieved (in 2004) in the watermelon seed–spitting contest at Muskie Days, the summer celebration in Nevis, scheduled this year for July 21 and 22. Snag a “muskie burger” and see how your seed-spitting measures up. Or try your hand in the horseshoe tourney, scavenger hunt, or buffalo-chip–throwing contest.


Number of pastries sold during the Kolacky Days Czech Festival in Montgomery last summer. This year’s celebration of the area’s Czechoslovakian heritage is July 28 to 30. Czech out the classic car show, traditional dancing and singing, Bun Run, and kolacky-eating contest.

Contributing editor Sandra Hoyt is proud to say that she can now spell—and pronounce—kolacky.