By Starrla Cray
LORETTO, MN With new attractions like a farmers market, beanbag tournament, and wine tasting, Loretto Fun Fest 2011 has a fresh supply of entertainment Saturday, Sept. 17.
“We’ve got a lot of new things,” Loretto City Clerk Cindy Patnode said.
One addition is a street dance Friday, Sept. 16, with a 30-by-120-foot tent on Railway Street.
Live music from Section 30 will play from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and Stampede will perform from 8 p.m. until midnight.
Many of the fun fest activities, including the street dance, are free with purchase of a $10 Booster Button, available at 21st Century Bank, Axel’s, Bistro 11, Loretto City Hall, Choo-Choo, Detour 19, Koch’s Korner, Loretto Post Office, and West Hennepin Auto & Tire.
Anyone who has a Booster Button will have the opportunity to win one of 21 unique prizes donated by local businesses and organizations, such as a $50 Visa gift card, three-hour boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka, sleigh ride for 22 adults, and a variety of gift certificates.
The drawings will start at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. It is not necessary to be present to win, but buttons must be presented to the city of Loretto by Tuesday, Oct. 11 to claim the prize.
Most of the Loretto Fun Fest excitement will take place Saturday, Sept. 17.
Starting at 8 a.m., there will be a medallion hunt, with clues on the hour at the softball concession stand.
A Booster Button is not necessary to play, but the grand prize is raised from $50 to $70 for those with buttons.
At 2 p.m., there will be a beanbag toss tournament, and the grand prize is two Vikings tickets for the Sunday, Sept. 18 game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The farmers market will be from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Loretto ball fields, featuring more than 20 vendors.
Anyone who would like to have a booth can contact Cindy Spaulding at (763) 767-3447 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Booths are $20, and vendors must supply their own tables.
Also from 2 to 7 p.m., a $2 wine and beer tasting event will be offered for ages 21 and over with an ID.
Throughout the afternoon, visitors can enjoy music from Pure Platinum DJ.
The fun fest also has several children’s activities at the same time, including a kiddie train, 25-foot rock climbing wall, and three inflatables.
Purchase of a $10 wristband gives unlimited access to these activities.
A new attraction is a tug-of-war at 4 p.m. at the Loretto ball fields.
Each member of the first-place team will receive a $10 gift certificate good for food at the concession stand.
Teams must weigh no more than 1,500 pounds, and there is a $20 registration fee.
Email (email@example.com) or fax (763-479-2685) registration to fire chief Jeff Leuer.
The registration fee is payable at the ball fields prior to the contest. Brackets will be posted at 3:45 p.m.
From 4 to 7:30 p.m., Axel’s and Detour 19 will have food available, and Gonzo the Clown will provide entertainment until 7 p.m.
A Loretto Community Athletic Association hitting contest will take place at 5 p.m., and is available for all ages.
A K-9 demonstration will be at 4:30 p.m., followed by North Memorial Helicopter viewing at 5 p.m.
Fireworks will begin at about 8 p.m. Glow necklaces can be purchased at the concession stand.
If it rains Sept. 17, the fireworks will be postponed until Saturday, Sept. 24.
Other activities will be moved to Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Center in Loretto if there is inclement weather.
Community members are encouraged to bring a donation for the Hanover Area Food Shelf to the fun fest.
Anyone ages 15 and older who would like to volunteer for the fun fest can call city hall at (763) 479-4305.