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Benton-Fremont Days start today in Lake Benton

August 9, 2012
By Karin Elton , Marshall Independent

Lake Benton will embody the spirit of the old west today through Sunday as it celebrates Benton-Fremont Days at Hole-in-the-Mountain Park.

Benton-Fremont Days illustrate times past with flintknapping demonstrations, gun fighting demonstrations and a knife and tomahawk throwing contest among many other activities and attractions, said Carl Burk, who is a retired history teacher and one of the organizers of Benton-Fremont Days in Lake Benton.

Also among the highlights of the weekend are Swanson's Cowboyography, who will show how to crack a whip and do some roping. They will have a pie baking contest with cash prizes.

Benton-Fremont Days is combined with Te Tonka Ha Western Rendezvous Hehdoka Knap-In, sponsored by the Brookings Muzzleloaders, and the Hehdoka Knap-In.

At the Te Tonka Ha Rendezvous Hehdoka Knap-In, which is in its 10th year, re-enactors will be "camping in the 1800s style," Burk said. "People can walk right up to them and talk with them."

Also willing to share their knowledge are the flintknappers.

"They will demonstrate primitive tools and show beautiful works of art from stone or other materials," he said. "They will demonstrate flintknapping. People can watch and learn how to do it."

Burk said Tuesday morning that "10 are set up already."

Vendors will also be set up and will sell "things that were typical of the 1800s - jewelry, clothing," he said.

A free bratwurst cookout will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today in Hole in the Mountain Park. The cookout is sponsored by local businesses and KCountry 102.3 FM and The Ranch AM 910 from Brookings, S.D.

On Friday, the Bruce Lee Band from Sioux Falls, S.D., will perform country, blues, rockabilly and pop music.

Saturday afternoon's activities include American Indian dancing and storytelling.

"Jackie Bird will do her hoop dance at 1 p.m.," Burk said. "She puts on quite a show. She danced at the winter Olympics in Utah."

Bud Johnston of the Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers will be on hand as well.

A burger fest from 5-6:30 p.m. is sponsored by the Lake Benton Chamber of Commerce.

A style show featuring garb from the 1880s to the 1940s will be demonstrated at 7 p.m. by live models in fashions of those eras with clothes from the Lake Benton Opera House.

After the style show a DVD presentation will depict Lake Benton history from 1879 to 1920, sponsored by the Historical Society of Lake Benton.

Sunday at noon, Ron and Jane Cote will sing and play "country and western tunes and old-time songs," Burk said.

Buffalo stew will be offered and a corn boil will take place as well as a pie social.

Activities are sponsored by Lake Benton community organizations and the Brookings Renegade Muzzleloaders Club. For more information call 507-368-9577 or email



11 a.m.-1 p.m. Live broadcast and free country

cook-out at the park by KCountry


Traders row

Range open for practice

All evening Flint knapping demonstrations

7 p.m. Music on stage, Bruce Lee Band


Traders row open - artist demonstrations, shooting events, primitive bow and arrow ahoot, hawk and knife throw

All day Flint knapping demonstrations

11 a.m.-1 p.m Corn boil (Free-will donation)

Noon Pottery demonstration - Dave Huebner

Afternoon Pie baking contest with cash prizes

1 p.m. Swanson Family Cowboyography

Open demonstrations by area artists (art for kids)

2 p.m. John Ruffolo - Western cattle drive

3 p.m. Open demonstrations - spinning/weaving, primitive bow and arrow/hawk and knife throw

4 p.m. American Indian storytelling and dancing

5-6:30 p.m. Burger fest - meal by Chamber of Commerce, $5

6 p.m. Music on stage - Ron Cote

7 p.m. Style show

Dusk A visual historical Lake Benton presentation, 1879-1920


Traders row open, artist demonstrations, shooting events at the range

All day Flint knapping demonstrations

All day Swanson Family Cowboyography

Noon Entertainment - Ron and Jane Cote, buffalo stew (ticket required), corn boil (Free-will donation), pie social by Catholic Ladies CCW

1 p.m. Indigenous dancing

3 p.m. Prizes and drawings



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