By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN For what soon will be 50 years, Red Rooster Days has been a tradition in Dassel over Labor Day weekend since 1959.
Though it first began as a one-day event surrounding the secret recipe of barbecued chicken dinner, Red Rooster Days quickly became an all-weekend affair.
Now, both current and former residents those with ties to Dassel, or people who just want to share in a long-lived tradition of food and fun can do so beginning Saturday, Sept. 5.
Some of the activities Saturday include a kickball tournament, a bean bag toss, a program at the Dassel Area Historical Society that includes a taste of Spam cheesecake, and a parade beginning at 3 p.m.
For this year’s parade, more than 60 past royalty will be participating and the six of the original Red Rooster Days chairmen will be honored as grand marshals. They are Dean Gayner, Dennis Alberts, Tom Jarl, Maynard Warne, George Neperud, and George Tesche.
Also Saturday, the Dassel Library will host a book sale from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Dassel City Hall Community Room.
See who will be the next Dassel ambassadors Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. A street dance will follow at 8:30 p.m. with Cowboys in Sneakers, on Atlantic Avenue.
Some of Sunday’s activities are the Minnesota Minn-E-Rod tractor pull, a brat feed in Spring Lake Park, and a bigger and better fireworks show in honor of the 50th annual Red Rooster Days celebration.
Though the schedule is fairly close to past years, there are a few special extras that will be at the ball park Labor Day including the Clip-Clop Trolley, a rooster crowing contest, and an antique car and tractor show.
Monday’s events begin with the five-mile run, the largest chicken barbecue in the state, an antique car show.
This year, the Red Rooster Days Committee will be raffling off a red, 1992 Ford Mustang convertible, the former parade car, Monday at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at Thirsty’s Tavern and Wilde Studios, prior to the event or at the ball park that day.
See the full schedule for more activities and details, along with the Red Rooster Days booklet inside.
Red Rooster Days 2009 schedule of events
The 50th annual Red Rooster Days is filled with three days of food, fun, and entertainment for the whole family. The full schedule is as follows, which includes the largest chicken barbecue in the state.
Saturday, Sept. 5
• 9 a.m. - Kickball tournament begins at quad fields at DC High School. Playoffs in afternoon at Saints Ball Park, Dassel. Call Ryan Nelson (320)275-2538 to register.
• 10 a.m. - Bike Ride/Roller Blade, children under 12 must be accompanied by adult. For more information call (320)275-4035
• 10 a.m. - Dassel Area Historical Society program with guest speaker Joyce Johnson Agnew, a Dassel native, on “Following Food from the Farm to the Table;” refreshments following program, 901 N. First Street.
• 12:30 p.m. - Bean Bag Toss Tournament on Atlantic Avenue.
• 1-3 p.m. - Fine Arts Show at Dassel Area Historical Society museum, 901 N. First Street.
• 3 p.m. - Parade begins from Willis St. to William Avenue to Fifth Street. Units line up at 2:30 p.m. at Firelake Manufacturing lot and Dassel Covenant Church lot, N. First Street.
• 4 p.m. - Pie social after parade at Gethsemane Lutheran Church.
• 5 p.m. - Waterball, Dassel fire hall.
• 7 p.m. - Dassel ambassador coronation, Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center. Admission charged to help defray expenses: 17 years & under $3, over 18, $6
• 8:30 p.m. - Street dance featuring Cowboys in Sneakers, $2 admission. Opens at 8 p.m. Atlantic Avenue, downtown. Sponsored by Thirsty’s Tavern.
Sunday, Sept. 6
• 10:30 a.m. - Community worship service at Dassel Covenant Church. Sponsored by Dassel ministerium.
• 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Lunch following service at Dassel Covenant Church social hall, hot dogs, barbecues, and floats, with proceeds going to the Fireworks Fund.
• 2-5 p.m. - Fine Arts Show at Dassel Area Historical Society museum, 901 N. First St.
• 2 p.m. - Minnesota Minn-E-Rod Tractor Pull, Atlantic Avenue downtown. Sponsored by Farmer’s State Bank and several local businesses.
• 3-7 p.m. - Sew Friendly Quilt Guild Show at Dassel Covenant Church.
• 6 p.m. - Brat Feed at Spring Lake Park, upper shelter, located one mile north of Dassel, sponsored by Knights of Columbus, supporting the Fireworks Fund.
• 7 p.m. - Hymn Sing at Dassel Church of Christ.
• Approx. 9:30 p.m. - Fireworks at Spring Lake Park at dusk. Sponsored by the Red Rooster Fireworks Endowment and Red Rooster Committee.
Monday, Sept. 7
• 8 a.m. - 5-mile Run and 1-mile Run/Walk registration. Run begins at 8:30 a.m., registration at 8 a.m. Saints Ball Park. Sponsored by Meeker Memorial Clinic.
• 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fine Arts Show at Dassel Area Historical Society museum, 901 N. First St.
• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. - Sew Friendly Quilt Guild Show at Dassel Covenant Church.
• 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. - Largest chicken barbecue in the state, $8 at gate. Rain or shine with indoor seating. Handicap access on First Street, at Saints Ball Park.
• 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Car and Antique Tractor Show, Saints Ball Park, sponsored by Kingston Auto & DC Parts.
• 11 a.m. - Rooster Crowing Contest, grandstand.
• 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Clip Clop Trolley, Saints Ball Park
• Noon and 2 p.m. - Music by Prairie Fiddlers, grandstand
• 1 p.m. - Kids’ pedal tractor pull, ages 4-11. Saints Ball Park. Sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank
• 3 p.m. - Car raffle drawing, Saints Ball Park
• Concessions, exhibits, vendors, rock wall, inflatables, beer garden, and hamburger stand at Saints Ball Park until 3 p.m.