Fergus Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Critters, Crud and Mud

Living in West Central Minnesota means we have access to all sorts of nature’s gifts. Thanks to Mother Nature and plenty of rain, the golf course is gorgeous and the corn is on track to be amazing. The race track will hold its King of the Dirt Races this month – and hopefully it will NOT be muddy (although mud is exactly what we want for the Viking Challenge and Mud Run on September 19th). If you are a rodeo fan you know that mud makes for a super-fun event – horses and bulls kicking up dirt and cowboys slip-sliding all over the place.

The nice thing about a Mud Run is that you can take it at your own pace. I did a short run on the Viking Challenge course once just to try it out. We didn’t need anyone’s permission to stumble, slide or fall down a pit. The jump across a watery pit from a high stack of hay – on a rope swing – was the highlight. It was confidence-boosting to feel solid ground when I landed (I didn’t say I landed on my feet)! Plan to wear tennis shoes you can part with – then donate them at the end of the race. A local group cleans them all up and donates them. And after we got cleaned up, that ice cold beer tasted especially well-deserved. Take note – if you want to get messy at an August Festival – try Potato Days in Barnesville August 28-29. It’s also fun just to watch others wrestle in that muck.

Bees and butterflies get top billing this month. The honey processing is in full swing at Sundberg Apiaries in late August. Visitors are allowed to watch – it’s an interesting process and well narrated. But call ahead for times and availability. This is also the time of year when monarch butterflies start their migration to Mexico for the winter. Our new Monarch Butterfly Festival has many events this month and they incorporate arts, music, planting butterfly gardens and of course, tagging monarchs. This allows them to be tracked so their migration and habitat is inventoried. It helps scientists learn about the routes and locations they are using, influence of weather and survival rates. For event details check out their web site Monarch Festival.

Finally, let’s talk about threshing. There are two great threshing shows in our area every year: The Western MN Threshermen’s Show in Rollag and the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Show in Dalton both draw people from near and far. At these festivals, generations of thresher men and women get together to relive the tradition of the good ol’ days and bring the past to life. Not being a farm-girl, it’s eye-opening to see everything that goes on behind the scenes.

A common element in most of these events is the opportunity to have fun AND learn something new. That’s a great combination and also a nice way to get the kids back into learning mode. September will be here before we’re ready – and that means backpacks, buses and books. Enjoy these last days of summer!

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