For the past 33 years, the Wolf Lake community has been gathering to celebrate summer's end with its local Harvest Festival, and the 34th annual event, set to get underway Friday, Aug. 18, promises to provide plenty of fun for the whole family.
As has become a community tradition, the Harvest Fest will kick off on Friday with the crowning of the 2017 Little Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Wolf Lake. The pageant is scheduled to get underway at 6:30 p.m. inside the Wolf Lake Lions Hall.
The Little Miss category is open to ages four to six years, and 10 to 12 year olds may enter the Junior Miss Pageant. The Miss Wolf Lake Pageant is for ages 16 to 18.
Vying for the title of Little Miss Wolf Lake are:
• Akaiya Birkey, age 6, the daughter of Kandice Birky and Anthony Mertens, who will enter first grade this fall;
• Charlie Butler, 5, the daughter of Patty and Jesse Butler, who is starting kindergarten in the fall;
• Charlee Olds, 5, the daughter of Amber and Derek Olds, who will also start kindergarten this fall.
Junior Miss Wolf Lake candidates include:
• Kendall Krueger-Pierce, 10, the daughter of Jess Krueger-Pierce and Ryan Pierce, who enters 5th grade this fall;
• Rachel Lamasters, 10, the daughter of Ashley Down and Shane Quittschreiber, who will be in 6th grade this fall;
• Emily Aschnewitz, 12, the daughter of Annette and Jeridan Aschnewitz, who is starting 7th grade this fall;
• Isabella Schillinger, 12, the daughter of Sunny Eckert and Andrew Schillinger, who also starts 7th grade in the fall;
• Kodian Harris, 11, the daughter of Tiffany and Mark Schermerhorn, who enters 6th grade this fall.
And last but not least, the Miss Wolf Lake candidates are:
• Harley Stroberg, 17, the daughter of Jill and Corey Stroberg, who will be a senior this fall;
• Grace Hilde, 17, the daughter of Kristi and Scott Hilde, who will also be a senior this fall;
• Sarah aschnewitz, 16, the daughter of Annette and Jeridan Aschnewitz, who will enter 10th grade this fall;
• Gabrielle Splonskowski, 17, the daughter of Kelly Zeman and Adam Splonskowski, who starts her senior year in high school this fall.
After the pageant has concluded, there will be a street dance in the liquor store parking lot starting at 8:30 p.m., with music provided by DJ Shadow. Singers can also find their inner rock star by taking part in a little karaoke.
On Saturday, Aug. 19, bring your running shoes and kick off the day with the United North Central Cross Country 5K Walk/Run, which starts at 9 a.m. on Main Street. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is only $10 if you want to bring home a commemorative t-shirt, or $5 without.
Be a hero and help to save lives by taking part in a community blood drive, to be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the bloodmobile parked outside the Wolf Lake Rescue Hall. To register, contact Jared Sikkila at 218-850-0448, or visit bloodhero.com and enter code "wolflake."
Take the kids to the grassy area west of the Klondike, for some face painting, games, and even an inflatable "bouncy house," starting at 10 a.m.
A coed volleyball tournament gets underway at 11 a.m. outside Christ Lutheran Church. All 4-person teams must include one man and one woman; to register, bring your $40 team entry fee to the church no later than 10:30 a.m. For more information, or to pre-register, contact Tyrone Aho at 218-230-4098. Pick up materials for the Kids' Coloring Contest at Lakes Area Co-op and return an entry before noon on Saturday. When stomachs start to growl from all that activity, head on over to the Wolf Lake Lions Hall, where the Lions will be hosting a turkey and ham dinner from 12 to 1:30 p.m., for a free will donation. While you're there, check out the Wolf Lake Royalty Silent Auction, which runs from noon to 2 p.m.
Also from noon to 2 p.m., the Lakes Area Co-op will be hosting a Dunk Tank outside the co-op. Cost is $2 for three balls, so come check out who is stepping up to take a dive in the interest of community spirit.
Next up is the main event, the Harvest Fest Parade; participants are asked to begin lining up at noon at the sliding hill north of town. Step-off is at 2 p.m., and all float entries from businesses, community organizations and individuals are eligible to win prizes for best entry in a variety of categories. This year's Grand Marshals are Arnold and Rosie Thompson. Call Andrea Yliniemi at 218-252-5618 for more information.
About a half hour after the parade has concluded, there will be a "Mud Run" featuring the following vehicle categories: Powder puff, trucks, stock and modified. There will also be three categories for 4-wheelers: Powder puff, two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. To enter this split-the-pot event, call Ken Phillips at 218-639-6354.
Right after the Mud Run, there will be a Bean Bag Toss Tournament in front of the Kinnunen Store. Cost to enter is $20 per team; call Jeff Sorlien at 218-849-5960 to enter.
Next up is a new event: A Corn-on-the-Cob Eating Contest gets underway at 4:30 p.m. in front of the liquor store, with registration starting at 3:30 p.m. For a $5 entry fee, participants will compete to see who can eat the most corn in 2 minutes. The pot will be split between the top finishers. All the corn for the contest is being donated by Pike's Farms, and any leftover corn will be available for sale after the event has concluded.
After the corn eating contest, stick around to see who won the raffle ticket prize drawing, which will take place in front of the liquor store at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are being sold at participating businesses in Wolf Lake and Menahga. Each $1 ticket will provide a chance to win $1,000 in cash prizes.
To finish off the day's festivities, there will be a street dance featuring music by Obstruction of Justice starting at 8 p.m., in the beer garden north of the liquor store (which will be open throughout the festival, along with the liquor store's bar and off-sale areas). Admission to the beer garden is restricted to those age 21 and above, though the music can still be enjoyed from just about anywhere downtown, as this is an open-air event.
There will be food vendors and Harvest Festival merchandise available throughout the two-day event as well.
For more information about the weekend's festivities, including a complete schedule and contact information, please visit the festival website at www.wlharvestfest.com or check out the Wolf Lake Harvest Festival page on Facebook.