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Festivals bring small towns roaring to life
Duffy Ducheaux, of Avon, S.D., goes into low orbit during the July 2 Bull-A-Rama at Wild West Days in Faulkton, S.D. Photo by Faulk County Record

Festivals bring small towns roaring to life

For small towns in the Dakotas, a summer celebration can double the population, creating traffic jams in places with no stoplights and a hum of excitement to some generally work-a-day places.

Here are some great images of some of the festivals held in the Dakotas recently. Click on each to see a bigger version. Summaries of the events follow below.

WILD WEST DAYS: Early July, Faulkton, S.D.

Fourth of July events in Faulkton had a great start with 105 entries participating along a packed downtown parade route. Parade chair Diane Hushka was happy with the final entry number and thanked everyone who helped organize and judge the entries.

Randy Bauer at Bauer’s Super Valu estimates that 560 guests went through the Faulkton Business & Professional Association’s barbecue in the park following the parade.  Cheryl Schaefers of Cheryl’s Catering lost count after serving more than 600 at the FHS All School Reunion Banquet. —Faulk County Record


Orient 125th Celebration: July 6-8

Orient knows how to have a celebration!

It’s all over but the cleanup as Orient shows again that they know how to have a celebration.

This 125th Orient Celebration was a great example of community spirit and hard work. The weather also cooperated, with cooler temperatures than the area has seen in the past few weeks.

“It was a very fun, very busy weekend with lots going on,” said Kelly Aesoph, in charge of publicity for the events. “Things ran really smoothly, mostly because we had exceptional help and volunteers putting it together. Terry and Bev Huss did a lot of side planning too and added some special touches. A huge thanks to everyone who helped out!”

“Everybody was having fun, and there was little trouble or drama! The weather was beautiful! Thank you to everyone who came to enjoy and participate in the activities!” Aesoph said.

Parade winners:

Most Patriotic: 1st Clement Family, 2nd Fair City Foods of Huron, 3rd Rex Young family.
Most Original: 1st Mid Dakota Seed, 2nd Dacotah Bank, 3rd Earl Sprague.
Most Unique: 1st Mean Woman Taxidermy, 2nd Kalkman family, 3rd St. Joseph Church.
Most Ambitious: 1st Orient Bar, 2nd Martinmaas clan party, 3rd Faulkton City Pool.

 Other raffle and miscellaneous winners at the 125th:

Auction: Quilt, Jim Kranz $575. 1921 print of Orient, Shane McKay, $750. Ruger Red Label commemorative shotgun, Mike Aesoph $6300.
Raffle: Wii, Jamie Sprenger. Amish quilt, Donna Schaefers. Ipad, Fr. Tom Clement. Commerative Remington 870 Shotgun, Tim Tesch, Watertown.
Button Raffle: Mike Schulte $125. $5 board for picture of Orient, Staci Aesoph.


The Tug of War competition was divided into two groups—a 800-pound division for 14 and under, and an adult division of 1500 pounds. Both were double elimination.

The 800-pound division winner was the team Project X, consisting of Carson Ortmeier, Connor and Cole Brand, Jack Aesoph and Lane Melius. Second place was the Wonder Women team, comprised of Isabel Aesoph, Morgan and Payton Melius, Jazlynn Geditz, Eryka Quinn, Clare Baumberger, Trisha, Teralyn and Taylor Cramer, Abby Vetch, Rose Kellogg and Grace Schlechter.

In the 1500-pound Adult Division, the winner was Herbie and Loren’s team, comprised of Herbie Martinmaas, Craig Martinmaas, Tyson Martinmaas, Damian Martinmaas, Caleb Martinmaas, Loren Weber and Cody Cotton. Second place was the Blumpkids, comprised of Cody Aesoph, Sheldon Bauer, Nate Aesoph, Landon McCloud, Xavier Schlechter, John VerHelst, Kyle Stewart and Todd Pauly.

Faulk County Record


 Finn Fest, Frederick, S.D., June 15-17

Frederick Finn Fest contest winners

Wife-Carrying Contest: Wyatt Sumption and Amanda Kallas. They won Amanda’s weight of beer, equaling about five cases.

Bed Races: Wayne Haas and Will Weber

Boot Toss:  Ages 6 and younger: Phillip Masog and Aida Mikkonen; ages 7-12:  Cody Halverson and Kaitlyn Halverson; ages 13-19: Daniel Ham and Hailey Brooks; ages 21 and older: Marty Morlock and JoAnn Juelfs.

5K Road Race: Mikayla Barondeau, with a time of 20 minutes, 2 seconds.

Talent Show: Sean Bickford.

Miss Finn Contest: First runner-up, Andrew Wolter; winner, Gary Mikkonen.

Art Show:

Judges’ choice overall winner: Birch Leaves, painting on silk, by Leena Iso-Ahola.

Judges’ honorable mentions: Spring Thaw, weaving, by Annikki Marttila; Lonely, photograph, by Bert Klipfel, Mi Hijo y yo, My Son and I, oil painting, by Freddy Roque; and Faceted Bottle, ceramic, by Jared Pfeiffer.

People’s Choice winners (three-way tie): Sunrise, photograph, by Donna Sumption; Pheasant, photograph and features, by Dave Swain; and Deer and Fawn, photograph, by Dave Swain.

People’s Choice honorable mention: Theme of Finnish Flag 2, watercolor, by Leena Iso-Ahola

Children’s People’s Choice: To Catch the Rain, clay, by Viena Klipfel, age 11.

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