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Ole Oppe Fest is back

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Ole Oppe Fest is back this year and is offering a variety of events. It will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 23-26.

In the fall of 1996, the Big Ole statue was laid on his back in an outer building at the Runestone Museum for renovations, but that winter, the roof collapsed and damaged Big Ole’s inner structure.

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With help from the community, the museum was able to raise enough funds to renovate and repair the statue.

To express thanks, the museum and Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce held a celebration Memorial Day weekend of 1997 called Ole Oppe Fest (oppe means “up” in Norwegian).

Big Ole’s new renovation was revealed amidst fireworks, entertainment, food and games.

For the past few years, the celebration has been held through a different organization under another name but is now returning as Ole Oppe Fest.

Following is a look at this year’s schedule:

FRIDAY, MAY 23

Sidewalk sale – Downtown businesses.

5 to 7:30 p.m. Wing Ding event in the Fort. Make your best dipping sauce contest. Come enjoy wings with the area’s best dipping sauces. Get 2 wings for $1.

5 to 7:30 p.m. Free Music in the Fort by Jefferson Jazz Combo.

5 to 10 p.m. Cody Rides Carnival.

5 to 11 p.m. Beer garden.

8 to 11 p.m. Free Music in the Fort by ’57 Chevy.

SATURDAY, MAY 24

Sidewalk sale – Downtown businesses.

Breakfast with Big Ole at Runestone Museum. Enjoy egg bake, fruit, old-fashioned egg coffee; adults, $6; children 4-10, $4; toddlers, free.

Cody Rides Carnival on Second Avenue between Hawthorne and Jefferson.

Poker run. Get a poker hand from Fat Daddy’s, Depot Express, Corral, Nelson, Herby’s in Carlos, Osakis VFW, Thunderlodge in Long Prairie or the Browerville Municipal Liquor, then come to fish fry for prizes.

9 a.m. to noon: Free Corvette car show in lot behind Runestone Museum.

1, 4 and 7 p.m. Baseball tournament at Knute Nelson Field. Admission $3.

9 a.m. to noon: Farmers market in Big Ole Park.

5 to 7:30 p.m. Fish fry in the Fort. Enjoy fish, coleslaw, baked beans and a roll; adults, $8; children 4-10, $4; toddlers, free.

5 to 7:30 p.m. Free Music in the Fort by Sax Appeal.

5 to 11 p.m. Beer garden.

6:45 p.m. Viking Speedway races, NLRA LM Special; gates open at 4:30 p.m.; adults, $10; children 10-15, $5; children 9 or younger, free.

8 to 11 p.m. Free Music in the Fort by Confusion.

SUNDAY, MAY 25

Sidewalk sale – Downtown merchants.

Cody Rides Carnival on Second Avenue between Hawthorne and Jefferson.

8:30 a.m. Alex Figure Skating 10k and 5k run at Carlos Creek Winery.

11 a.m. Church service at City Park by First Lutheran Church.

1, 4 and 7 p.m. Baseball tournament at Knute Nelson Field. Admission $3.

6:45 p.m. Viking Speedway races, NLRA LM Special; gates open at 4:30 p.m.; adults, $10; children 10-15, $5; children 9 or younger, free.

MONDAY, MAY 26

10 a.m. Memorial Day parade.

8:30 a.m. to noon: Pancake breakfast at First Congregational UCC, corner of Seventh and Elm; all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee, milk, fruit cup; adults, $7; children 4-10, $4; toddlers, free.

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