June 11, 2007

Enjoy Dassel's Dairy Berry Day Thurs., June 21

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Dairy Berry Day gives residents an opportunity to get together, enjoy delicious ice cream, and hear local talent, all free of charge.

The annual event is made possible by donations including the ice cream from Dassel Co-op, strawberries from Dassel Hillside Farm, and the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band, sponsored by the Dassel Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, Dairy Berry Day went through 28 five-quart pails of ice cream. The co-op can expect to use anywhere between 25 and 30 pails each year. “It depends upon the weather,” said Dennis Danielson, manager of the co-op.

Last year, the Townsends, owners of Dassel Hillside Farm, donated six ice cream pails of sliced strawberries that made up 500 bowls of strawberry sundaes.

“It is a way to give back to the community and promote products grown by local farmers and growers,” said Hillside owner Julie Townsend.

Strawberries will be ready earlier this year due to the warm weather and recent rain, according to Townsend. Traditionally, the berries are ready to be picked late June, early July. They are expected to be ready this year the week of June 11, she said.

Each year, the Townsends hire approximately 20 high school students to help pick the berries.

Pickers get paid by the pound and at the end of the season, each of them gets a certificate with the number of pounds they each picked. To this day, Annalicia Johnson holds the record for picking 1,000 pounds of berries when she worked there.

Dassel Ambassadors and candidates have been serving ice cream since the late 90s.

“It’s just another way the girls can be community service oriented,” said Carol Tritabaugh, ambassador coordinator.

This year there are seven candidates that will be helping serve the ice cream treats including Jenna Isaacson, Kayla Jo Forsman, Amanda Imberg, Sarah Martin, Paige Meier, Ashley Walberg, and Ashley Nordberg, along with the current ambassadors Rebekah Neu and Stacy Isaacson.

While enjoying the delicious ice cream treats at Bandstand Park in downtown Dassel, attendees will have music to their ears with the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band performing in the bandstand. This is paid for by the Chamber of Commerce.

Directing this year is Brian Kotila of Cokato. The band will perform general concert band songs such as show tunes and marches, according to band president Marshall Carlsted, formerly of Dassel.

This year there are 15 members in the band, but in past years there has been as many as 40 members. Band members are of all ages from high school students to musicians in their 80s.

Anyone can join the band by attending the weekly practice at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted band room at 7:45 p.m. on Mondays.

Come see, hear and taste what Dassel’s Berry Dairy Day is all about Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. in Bandstand Park next to the railroad tracks.

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