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Snellman Days offers fun and food

A Competitor enjoys a summer treat during the watermelon-eating contest at Snellman Days. BRIAN BASHAM/DL NEWSPAPERS

Once a year for almost a decade, the tiny community of Snellman, Minn., is flooded with visitors enjoying the annual Snellman Days.

This year, Snellman Days will stretch from Saturday, Aug. 31 to Sunday, Sept. 1.

According to Aune Longfors, event coordinator, the event draws around a thousand people, a dramatic shift from the estimated two permanent residents who call Snellman home.

Longfors, owner of Aune’s Kauppala, along with several others in the Snellman area helped to start the event, though Lonfors credits the late Phyllis Heston with the initial idea.

“Phyllis got to thinking that we should have a reunion in the local area,” Longfors said.

“Every little town around here has a celebration, so even though we’re a little spot on the road we figured we should have one too,” she added.

Snellman is nestled on State Highway 34, 20 miles east of Detroit Lakes and 18 miles west of Park Rapids.

The events start off on Saturday morning with a brunch hosted by Gethsemane Lutheran Church from 8 to 11 a.m.

Stick around to enjoy the classic vehicle show, with a variety of cars and bikes in the parking lot of the church.

At 10 a.m., Snellman Days offers a fun spin on traditional Bingo games with 100 percent payback. The individual sitting to the left of a Bingo winner will also receive a prize, as part of a “love thy neighbor” philosophy.

Show off your vocal talents with Karaoke, running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enter for a chance to claim the title of mayor without the hassle of any actual responsibility.

All ages are welcome to apply, with an entry fee of just $1.

Longfors laughed and said, “you just take grief,” when asked if any duties accompany the position. “It’s just a fun thing.” The drawing for mayor will take place at noon.

A hot dog eating contest was introduced last year and is making a return to Snellman Days.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Longfors said of watching the winner devour his way to victory last year.

Come hungry for competition and hot dogs and see how far you can stretch your stomach at 2 p.m.

Brats, hot dogs, and roasted corn will also be offered for non-competitive eaters to enjoy.

Two Ladies Auxiliary VFW chapters will be serving up delicious fry bread and coffee as a fundraiser for cancer research, in addition to hot turkey sandwiches and pop.

After the DJ for the event has been paid, Longfors said any additional revenue from booth space rentals will also be put toward the cause.

A horseshoe toss, coloring contest, and games for the kids are sure to keep all ages entertained on Saturday as well. 

“We’re focusing a little bit more on the kids’ games this year than we have in the past,” Longfors said.

A flea market, rummage sale, and produce and bakery stands will also be available on both Saturday and Sunday.

Longfors said that Snellman Days “is really meant to be a very social thing,” emphasizing fun with neighbors and the community.

She encourages visitors to park in the Gethsemane Lutheran Church parking lot during the weekend events.

For more information about Snellman Days or to reserve vendor space, contact Aune’s Kauppala at 218-573-2520, or 218-841-4727.

Libby Larson | DL Newspapers