Archived Story

Watermelon Day Saturday in Vining

Published 7:23am Tuesday, August 14, 2012 Updated 11:25am Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vining’s Watermelon Day has become a “ritual” for many area families, with the festival now in its’ 40th year and bigger than ever.

“The biggest small town celebration in Otter Tail County” happens this Saturday, Aug. 18.

“It’s a time for people to renew friendships and spend one last weekend at the lake,” said Janice Saetre.

The day kicks off with the Run for the Melon 5/10k run/walk at 8 a.m., with registration at 7 a.m. The entry fee is $20.

An arts and crafts show runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with 70 to 80 vendors. The Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre will be presenting “Tom Sawyer” at 11 a.m. in the lower level of the community center. Admission is $4, with preschool and younger free, or $10 per family, making it a good family event.

For lunch, the Vining Firemen will serve barbecued beef sandwiches at noon. Many other food vendors will be available throughout the day, such as the Sons of Norway booth selling Scandinavian delicacies. At 11 a.m. the watermelon cutters will begin serving free watermelon.

“Bingo and the children’s activities and games are very popular,” said Saetre. Bingo begins at noon, and there will be a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables and kids’ games. The games will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by a drawing for prizes.

T.J. Dale will provide country music entertainment from 10 a.m. to noon. The Wee Willie Band will play from noon to 2 p.m., and again from 3-5 p.m. At 2 p.m. the Runestone Rockettes of Alexandria will perform. “The musical entertainment always draws a crowd of people with lawn chairs,” she said.

The day finishes with a parade at 7 p.m., followed by raffle drawings and a pie and ice cream social at the community center. “Our town is less than a hundred, but for this event the population swells to a few thousand. It’s a fun day for everyone and those who have come before look forward to coming back each year,” said Saetre.

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