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Boxelder Bug Days brings end-of-summer tradition back to Minneota

MINNEOTA — Area residents have been eager to bring back local festivals this year, and organizers of Boxelder Bug Days say Minneota residents are no different. So far there’s been “a great response” from community members, Scott Josephson said.

“It’s really great to be able to have community celebrations again,” Josephson said. “Boxelder Bug Days is always kind of the beginning of fall, end of summer event for our community.”

Boxelder Bug Days kicks off tonight and continues through the weekend. Josephson said festival organizers have brought back a lot of popular events for this year.

The festival starts tonight with a kick-off dance, and continues bright and early on Saturday. That’s when participants in the Johnny Tillemans memorial chili cook-off will start competition.

“The BBQ competition is back this year, too,” Josephson said. Other returning events include the Run the Bug fun run, street dance and kiddie parade.

One new feature this weekend is that the kids’ inflatables planned for Saturday afternoon will be free, Josephson said.

Events like a take-out pancake breakfast, community worship service and a grand parade will help close out the weekend on Sunday.

Josephson said there’s been a lot of local support for this year’s Bug Days.

“Our sponsors have been wonderful this year,” he said. Sponsors including EDF Renewables, Kruse Motors, Coequyt Plumbing and Heating, and UFP Minneota have all helped make the festival possible.

Schedule of events

Today

8 p.m.-midnight Kick-off dance featuring BJ the DJ

Saturday

8 a.m. Run the Bug Kiddie Run begins

8:30 a.m. 5K/10K run/walk begins

9 a.m.-2 p.m. FFA petting zoo, Veterans Park

9 a.m. 3-person scramble golf tournament, Countryside Golf Club

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Craft and vendor sale, Veterans Park west lot

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Opera Hall open

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Vietnam Memorial and History Center open

11 a.m. Minneota Connections reading series at Minneota Opera Hall

11 a.m. Kiddie parade

11 a.m. Johnny Tillemans Memorial Chili Cook-Off judging, Veterans Park

11:30 a.m. Pedal tractor pull behind Gislason Ace Hardware

Noon-6 p.m. Free inflatables on Jefferson Street

12:30 p.m. Boxelder bug races at the small stage

1 p.m. Minneota barrel racing series, Silver Spur Arena.

1 p.m. JT at the main stage

2 p.m. Bean bag tournament begins, Highway 68

2 p.m. Platinum Road at the main stage

3 p.m. JT at the main stage

3-7 p.m. National Guard climbing wall

4 p.m. Ali Gray’s Country Jamboree at the main stage

5 p.m. Platinum Road

6 p.m. Ali Gray’s Country Jamboree

7 p.m. Queen coronation at the main stage

8 p.m. Shove the Bug/adult pedal pull

8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Street dance featuring Avenger Joe

Sunday

8-11 a.m. Firemen’s pancake breakfast

10 a.m. Community worship service

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Vietnam Memorial and History Center open

11 a.m. Ali Gray’s Country Jamboree

11 a.m. Minneota Area Mission Trip meal

11 a.m. Friends of the Library pie sale

1 p.m. Grand parade

2:30 p.m. Ali Gray’s Country Jamboree

2:30 p.m. Sharon Cartway wagon rides

3 p.m. Golf ball roll

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