Off to the (turkey) races at Pelican Fest

Sports & Leisure ·

1 One of eight turkeys selected for the 2014 Pelican Rapids Turkey Races takes in his surroundings shortly before the event's first heat. 
2 Live pelicans appeared to be in short supply in Pelican Rapids, Minn., during the first of the two-day Pelican Fest. However, the popular "Pelican Pete" -- a 15-foot statue overlooking the Pelican River -- and an assortment of smaller pelican statues scattered around town are always on display. 
3 Ethan Sjostrom, from left, Luke Sjolie and Timmy Guler do their darndest to upright a wooden spool on Friday to help set-up for the festival. The 8-year-old boys were in the company of Ethan's dad, Greg, who is involved with the Pelican Rapids Jaycees. 
4 Trophies for first- and second-place finishers in the turkey races rest on a table not far from the finish line. Fourteen teams entered this year's races, compared to a dozen in 2013. 
5 Conventional and unconventional noisemakers were in abundance for the turkey races. According to participants, the ability to generate a lot of noise often motivates a turkey to run. Clapping garden trowels like these together is one option. 
6 Sarah Centeno and daughter Maria Juana Centeno, 3, check out racing turkeys. The races returned last year after an extended absence. Sarah fondly remembers competing in the 1998 race as part of The Cluck Clucks. "We took second place for best costume," she said. "I can't believe I remembered all that." 
7 Teams including a randomly selected turkey. "Turkeys aren't very smart and they don't always cooperate," said Debbi Restad, second from left, who was competing in her first turkey race with her grandson and his friend. 
8 A turkey heads down West Mill Street. The race course spanned roughly half a city block. 
9 Taven James, 7, left, and Brody James, 5, encourage their turkey to run faster by shaking homemade noisemakers. 
10 A turkey walks along West Mill Street in downtown Pelican Rapids, Minn., shortly after competing in the 2014 Pelican Rapids Turkey Races. 
11 Handmade signs like this one were posted at several locations. Evening bingo and an ice-cream social were held Friday on the front lawn of the Pelican Valley Health Center. 
12 Kathy Forsgren of Pelican Rapids takes in a game of bingo as part of Pelican Fest activities. "It's fun," she said. "I play with my granddaughter once and awhile." 
13 Carolyn Stoen of rural Pelican Rapids, Minn., places a wooden bingo ball in position during a Friday evening game. 
14 Brooklyn Altendorf, 11, of Hickson, N.D., right, looks up during a the game of bingo. Altendorf's cousin Avery Schaner, 10, of Fargo, N.D., and grandma Vicki Swenson of Pelican Rapids, Minn., are also pictured. 
15 Activities like outdoor bingo and an ice cream social were on tap Friday evening during Pelican Fest in Pelican Rapids, Minn. 
16 Brian Olson, right, releases a bag during an informal bean bag game on Friday night. He partnered with Scott Richardson for the game. Both men live in Pelican Rapids. A formal bean bag tournament was set to take place on Saturday. 
17 Early evening light illuminates a turkey feather near the site of the turkey races. 
18 "Pelican Pete" -- a 15-foot statue -- has stood watch over the Pelican River since 1957 and "is no doubt the most photographed object in Pelican Rapids," according to the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce.