By Starrla Cray
WRIGHT, MEEKER COUNTIES, MN For the second year in a row, a train of covered wagons and horses will be traveling through the “Best of 12” communities, which includes Delano, Montrose, Waverly, Howard Lake, Cokato, and Dassel.
The “Best of 12 Wagon Train” will set up in Delano Wednesday, June 6 and end in Dassel Saturday, June 9.
The public is encouraged to watch the train as it passes through each community.
“Photo opportunities will be available every meal time,” organizer Harlan Lewis said.
The entourage will travel through town the morning of Thursday, June 7 and take a water break from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. at Delano’s Central Park.
Lunch will be at Apple Jack Orchard in rural Delano from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Friday, June 8, lunch will be in Waverly. The train, which travels at about 3 miles per hour, is scheduled to arrive at the Wright County Fairgrounds in Howard Lake about 4 p.m., with an evening meal at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 9, the noon meal will take place at Cokato’s city park, and the evening meal will be on the north side of Dassel, west of Meeker County Road 4.
“When we cross into Meeker County, the Meeker County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse will join us,” Lewis said.
The event is a joint effort of the Best of 12 group, Lions Clubs in each city, local chambers of commerce, and other organizations.
The Wright County Sheriff’s Office, Wright County Highway Department, and BNSF Railway are also providing assistance.
According to Lewis, the wagon train is a good opportunity for communities along Highway 12 to work together. In the future, he would like to have other combined events, such as garage sales and farmers markets.
“We’ve got to find a way to draw people in,” he said, explaining that if cities join their efforts, they could accomplish more with less.
For this year’s wagon train, Lewis said participants are from Wisconsin, South Dakota, and throughout Minnesota, and many have authentic period equipment and clothing.
To learn more about the wagon train, call Harlan Lewis at (952) 237-7368 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.