The start of another school year might be fast approaching, but the merchants of downtown Minot are planning on giving children and their parents a quick break Sept. 6 with the Fall Festival on Main.
The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., take up several blocks on Main Street and offer an almost embarrassing amount of events for people to take part in.
Denise Lindbo, owner of the Gourmet Chef and chairwoman of the festival, says there will be no shortage of attractions for everyone in the family.
"We have stuff going on all day long for families, kids, you know, you name it," Lindbo said.
While the festival itself will start at 10 a.m., a fun run and pet walk will start the festival at 8 a.m., and a historic walking tour at 11 a.m. will give those wanting to break in a new pair of sneakers plenty of opportunities to do so. Drumlines from Minot High School-Central Campus and Minot State University will be joined by the Sunnyside Drum Kidz to give crowds a percussive performance, and four different dance studios will perform.
Carnival games and an inflatable bounce house are sure to give children with the post-fair blues a reason to smile. To further give kids who have just gone back to school one last blast of State Fair fun, the Rocky Top Ranch Petting Zoo will be there with a wide array of exotic animals. While definitely an odd sight to see in the middle of Main Street, Lindbo says the animals are a popular attraction that always bring in a ton of kids.
Wine walk strolls into Minot
Tickets will go on sale Aug. 15 for the Downtown Business and Professional Association's second annual Downtown Wine Walk on Sept. 18 from 5 to 10 p.m.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Off the Vine, 15 S. Main St., or Cookies For You, 117 S. Main St., and all participants must register at Off the Vine the night of the walk.
This year, 26 businesses will participate, serving varieties of wine along with hors d'oeuvres to complement the wine. There will also be street entertainment.
The funds raised from the wine walk will go towards the beautification efforts of downtown Minot.
Currently, sponsors of the walk include Fisher Motors, SRT, Mid-Town Chiropractic, Kemper Construction, Real Builders, Wells Fargo, Ed Phillips, Subway, Wedding World, First Western Bank & Trust and Coldwell Banker.
For more information, call Cookies For You at 839-4975 or Off the Vine at 838-7003 or visit (http://www.downtownminot.com).
For those who prefer the growl of an engine over that of an animal, the Dakota Cruisers car club will have classic rides lined up for people to admire, and several different race cars, including some sprint cars, will also be on hand. Fisher Motors will also be bringing some vehicles to show.
Lindbo said this is only the beginning of what the festival has to offer.
"We've got a ton of food, craft (and) information booths this year, at least two dozen we're working on right now to fill up the streets (and) we'll have sidewalk sales going on," Lindbo said.
The North Prairie Farmers Market will be there for those who want to take a few fresh vegetables home with them, and the Taube Museum is having a sidewalk art sale, along with children's activities. There are even events that might interest the more adventurous.
"United Pantry is doing a sushi relay. Don't ask me how that one works," Lindbo said with a laugh.
Besides all of the activities happening in the street, the downtown business owners will also have things going on in their own stores. Live pottery demonstrations will take place in Margie's Art Glass Studio, and Breathe Again Bodyworks and Day Spa will be giving massages, just to name a few things the stores are doing.
"So you name it, we've got from basically eight o'clock in the morning till five o'clock at night, we're going to keep it busy," Lindbo said. "So it's going to be a busy, full day."
Not one to be left out of the fun, Lindbo is holding a few events of her own. She is offering knife sharpening at Gourmet Chef from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will also hold a baking contest. She's held the contest for the past eight years or so, with a new theme every time. This year the theme is nuts.
"Last year we did carrots," she said. "You know, we've done pumpkin, apple, cherry, you name it."
There is a $10 registration fee, but half of the proceeds go to the Humane Society. Contestants can drop off their entries by noon and then enjoy the festival while judging takes place.
Since the theme of the contest is nuts, that must be a main ingredient, although pretty much any type or combination of nuts can be used. The entry must be a baked item that is ready to be judged when the contestant drops it off, and it has to be able to sit out for a while, so no refrigerated items.
Lindbo is working to get some good prizes for the winners, and said the contestants never cease to amaze her with what they come up with.
"But it's fun. We never know what we're going to get. And some of these people, I mean, are really good about entering these contests. They know what they're doing," Lindbo said. "It's hard to do the judging because you just want to give a prize to everybody."
Lindbo said anyone who would like more information on any of the contests or events being held this year can contact her at Gourmet Chef at 839-8928.
Attendance is tough to gauge because there's been no real way to track participants in the past, but Lindbo estimates they probably pull in around 1,500 people. She said they will be able to get some attendance numbers this year because tickets, which will be used for certain events, are being sold for the first time. This is because costs for just about everything have risen and the festival needs to recoup some of that money.
Although an exact price for the tickets hasn't been set, Lindbo says they will try to keep it as inexpensive as possible, and most events should only need one ticket.
"But it won't be anything like the (State) Fair, it's not going to be near that much," Lindbo said with a laugh. "Not even close."
Lindbo said one of her favorite parts of the festival is seeing all the families come out and seeing people she hasn't talked to all summer. She particularly likes it when parents who used to come downtown as kids bring their own children and share their memories of how things used to be. It's this social aspect of the Fall Festival on Main that makes downtown Minot so much more than just a collection of buildings.