Editorial - Experience a festival or two this weekendFor every “bash” against small towns, there are at least a dozen wonderful aspects about small town communities that are overlooked. Consider festivals, for instance.
For every “bash” against small towns, there are at least a dozen wonderful aspects about small town communities that are overlooked.
Consider festivals, for instance.
The community celebrations in towns around Douglas County during the summer help define who we are. They bring everyone together in a fun, relaxed atmosphere that’s akin to a family reunion where good friends get caught up, swap stories, joke and reminisce.
The parades, the fire department water fights, the food, the street dances, the music all draw people together year after year to proudly celebrate their town, their history and traditions, their way of life.
And you don’t have to be an actual resident of a town to join in on the fun. The more, the merrier is a common theme at these get-togethers.
If you’ve never taken in one of the celebrations, we encourage you to give it a whirl. It amazes us when our reporters sometimes come across long-time residents of Douglas County who have never really visited Forada, Millerville, Brandon, Evansville, Carlos, Nelson, Garfield, Kensington, Osakis or other communities in their own backyard. Sure, they’re familiar with the towns and have maybe driven through them before but they haven’t really experienced what makes them special.
This weekend presents a good chance to see what you’ve been missing. Two big celebrations are on tap:
Miltona is celebrating its 42nd annual “Tornado Days” with a craft sale, bake sale, pork chop feed, musical entertainment, farmers’ market, children’s tractor pull, a baseball game, martial arts demonstrations, water fights, a parade and a street dance. (For those who may not know the history, a devastating tornado ripped apart the town back on July 18, 1970 but the community rallied together to come back better than ever.)
Millerville, meanwhile, is hosting “Butter Days” with fun activities like a bean bag tournament, street dance, pedal tractor pull, children’s games, parade, music and a butter carving contest. (For the uninitiated, Millerville churns out the best butter around through its very own Millerville Co-op Creamery Association.)
Detailed information about both celebrations was printed in last Friday’s Variety section, which is a good place to check for these kinds of summer happenings. (And here’s a reminder to organizers of other festivals in Douglas County: Please send information our way early so we can help spread the word about your event. E-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.)
Our reporters enjoy attending these events, capturing the special moments on film and now, on video. Check our website for photo galleries and video clips.
Festivals have a way of bringing out the kid in all of us. Maybe it’s from seeing the excited look on a child’s face at a parade when he sees candy thrown his way. Or maybe it’s from watching the determination of a kids’ tractor pull contestant straining for that extra few feet. For children, the festival is always new, always exciting, always fun. They seem to know that the greatest pleasures can often be found in smaller settings.