Summer Festivals

Celebrating the spud, in all its forms

Wrestling in mashed potatoes 

Since it began in 1938, Potato Days in Barnesville, Minn., is the annual celebration of the spud. The two-day event, held Aug. 22 and 23 this year, attracted thousands of people, and featured more than a dozen potato-centered competitions -- everything from mashed potato wrestling to a strongman contest.

Tons of corn, free for all

Owen Meek gets in on the corn fest 

Cow chip throwing, tractor pulling, fun runs and a street dance were capped off by a free all-you-can-eat corn feed and a parade on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 at the Plainview Corn on the Cob Days festival. The crowd went through seven tons of corn in four hours.

Garlic festival highlights growers -- and eaters

Irene Bender, dressed as a garlic bulb 

The Minnesota Garlic Festival description is as the "premier event for lovers of garlic," and there was garlic everywhere -- being eaten, worn and judged. Saturday in Hutchinson at the McLeod County Fairgrounds, brave souls even sampled the garlic ice cream.

Run, log roll, saw, fish, eat, compete in Grand Marais

Autumn Pechan taking on the cross cut saw 

Competition, food, music, arts and water came together for the 85th annual Fisherman's Picnic in Grand Marais. Runners, log rollers, lumberjacks, fisherman and herring eaters all competed on the shores of Lake Superior.

Pipestone Pow Wow grows from reunion to celebration

Starting the dance 

Pipestone hosted its 15th Annual Pow Wow this weekend. It began as a reunion of students from the Pipestone Indian School, and has grown to include dancing and drumming, a native food cook-off, and hand-crafted art.

Scrambling down Main Street Moose Lake to find agates

Bringing something to carry the agates 

The Annual Agate Days Stampede took place in Moose Lake, Minn., on Saturday, July 19, 2014. Trucks layered Moose Lake's main street with 400 pounds of agates, which were mixed in with 2,000 quarters and four tons of rock. An estimated 3,500 people practically dived over one another to try to find as many agates as they could.

In Luverne, it's hot dogs all around

An entry in the Fine Art Hot Dog contest 

Luverne, Minnesota held its 52nd annual Hot Dog Night on Thursday evening, where it's all about the dog. The festival included wiener dog races, a wiener dog beauty contest, a hot dog inspired art contest, music, and free hot dogs.

Bean Hole Days takes baked beans to a new level

Beans, molasses and bacon go into the pot. 

Since 1938, people in Pequot Lakes, Minn. have been gathering for the sake of beans. Bean Hole Days got its start when local businessmen held a bean feed to thank farmers for their support of area businesses. Today, thousands flock to Trailside Park to celebrate and dine on beans cooked overnight in cast iron pots covered in a wood-fired pit.

At the Twin Cities Hmong festival, athletes, artists and food share top bill

Dancers in Hmong costume with traditional elements from Iny Asian Dancer Theater take part in the Hmong Freedom Celebration and sports festival on Friday, July 4, 2014 at Como Park in St. Paul.  

The Hmong Freedom Celebration 34th Annual Sport Festival, held at Como Park, had two days packed with soccer, flag football, and Hmong games Hmoob Tujlub and Ka tao, dancing, food and crafts.

Henderson Sauerkraut Days are sweet and sour fun

Cooking sauerkraut 

For more than 80 years, Henderson's Sauerkraut Days has celebrated pickled cabbage. The week-long festival features two parades, a classic car cruise, a softball tournament and music. It's capped off with a sauerkraut eating contest.

Photos: A stormy Juneteenth

Rain and smiles 

With stormy skies overhead, Twin Citians gathered for the annual Juneteenth at North Mississippi Regional Park on Saturday. The event, which featured music, food and a variety of vendors, observes the 1865 proclamation abolishing slavery in Texas. Juneteenth is celebrated across the country, and the Twin Cities community event is one of the largest in the country.

Wizard of Oz festival celebrates Dorothy in Judy's hometown

Nattleia Saarela, of Hibbing, skips along a yellow brick path near downtown Grand Rapids Friday while in town for the town's "Wizard of Oz" Festival. 

Grand Rapids, Minn.'s annual "Wizard of Oz" festival this weekend celebrates the 75th anniversary of the film's release.

Photos: At Lanesboro's rhubarb festival, it's about more than pie

Wrapped in rhubarb leaves 

The annual Rhubarb Festival in Lanesboro marks the start of our weekly photo gallery of Minnesota festivals. Whether you want a rhubarb fashion show, rhubarb soups and beverages, or even rhubarb facials, Lanesboro was the place to be on Saturday.