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A gangster good time: Get ready for Moonshine Madness in Osakis

During last year's Moonshine Madness, Panther Distillery poured samples of its whiskey products. (Osakis Review file photo)

It's time to dress like a flapper or don a zoot suit — all to help Panther Distillery and the Osakis community.

The fifth annual Moonshine Madness Day is this Saturday, Sept. 8.

"There will be something for everyone — lots of hands-on crafts, make-and-takes, children games, food, music, all kinds of things," said Laura Backes, a member of the Moonshine Madness Committee.

The idea for the unique celebration began four years years ago when Char Petroske, gift shop/tours manager of Panther Distillery in Osakis, made a call to Nick Prom, who is known for accurately portraying Al Capone, a Chicago gangster who gained fame during the Prohibition era.

Petroske wanted Prom to make an appearance at Panther Distillery. When he came to town to meet with her, she invited community members, and soon, the town wanted to join in and plan its own activities for the occasion.

Thus came Moonshine Madness. The event was such a success that it's been roaring back into town ever since.

Activities run from 9 a.m. to midnight and are happening in two locations — Panther Distillery and downtown.

Distillery events

At the distillery, people can take tours of the whiskey making process every half-hour, enjoy food and samples of Panther Distillery products, browse the gift shop or take in a vintage car show. National Guard members will also conduct demonstrations and there will be a question-and-answer session with Brigadier General Lowell Kruze.

Downtown happenings

Downtown festivities include chainsaw carving (see related story); a VFW poker walk; food vendors and crafters; free, tethered hot air balloon rides (weather permitting); inflatables; children's games and prizes (with help from the Osakis Education Association); a softball tournament with a 9 a.m. start time; a golf scramble with a shotgun start at 10 a.m.; pontoon rides from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; a bean bag tournament beginning at 1 p.m; and mechanical pig races from noon to 3 p.m.

Also, Andy Austin and Jeff James will be playing music outside the O-Town Tavern starting at noon.

Trolley rides will be offered all day between Panther Distillery and downtown.

The celebration will rock on Saturday night with a street dance, sponsored by O-Town Tavern, from 8 p.m. to midnight featuring Nasty Habit.

For more information, call Panther Distillery at (320) 859-2256 or Laura Backes at (320) 859-4621 for downtown events.

One other detail: If you see a drone flying overhead, it's not trying to crash the party. The drone is sponsored by the Moonshine Madness Committee and will be recording the celebration.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

(320) 763-1236
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