W’bago getting ready for fest

WINNEBAGO – Royer’s Plumbing and Heating has a display of all 35 buttons from each of the MotoFests, with the 35th set for Friday and Saturday in Winnebago.

“Some people like to collect them,” said Mark Loomis, one of the organizers.

MotoFest is a long-standing tradition of the Winnebago Chamber of Commerce. It draws antique car enthusiasts from all over southern Minnesota, said Don Selvig, another organizer.

“Last year, we had in the neighborhood of 60,” he said.

“We draw from Fairmont, Blue Earth, Mankato; a 100-mile radius, a majority of them are fairly close,” Selvig said. “Some come from the Twin Cities.”

“Last year, we had one car drive down I-90, heard a broadcast on the radio, and stopped,” he added.

The event kicks off Friday with the Bevcomm Customer Appreciation Lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Whiting Park shelter by the Municipal Center.

“Free hot dogs and root beer floats,” Selvig said.

A new activity this year is an open house from 2-4 p.m. at the Municipal Center for the new police chief, Eric Olson.

The draft horse pull will begin at 7 p.m. on the rodeo grounds. Admission is $3.

If music is your thing, Shooter’s Bar is hosting karaoke at 8:30 p.m.

For those wanting to spend the night, City Administrator Chris Ziegler says the new Municipal Campground at 541 Fourth St. SE is ready. For more information, visit www.cityofwinnebago.com or Facebook.

Saturday is a big day that begins early with a pancake breakfast catered by the Winnebago Grill from 7-10 a.m. at the Municipal Center. Cost for adults is $6, kids $4.

A 5K Fun Run will start at the West City Park by the shelter near the softball diamond. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and the run starts at 8 a.m.

Registration for the classic cars runs from 8 a.m. to noon at West City Park with the awards show at 2 p.m. The top 25 and best of show awards will be presented.

“We have a lot of repeat winners, but it can change,” Selvig said. “During the year, people can come up with a new vehicle they’re working on, so it can change from year to year, definitely.”

Registration for the Antique Tractor Pull is at 8:30 a.m. with the event starting at 9 a.m. Selvig said they average 35 tractors.

For those who like quieter old things, the Winnebago Area Museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

West City Park will be the place in the afternoon. First Financial Bank will have a coin dig for kids 12 and under at 9:30 a.m.; the D&S Kids Pedal Pull for ages 4-11 will start at 10 a.m.; multiple food vendors will have their culinary delights available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and the pool will have free swimming, beginning at 1 p.m.

The parade will start at 4 p.m. and will have a “mixture of everything,” Selvig said.

The Lions Club will serve a chicken dinner at West City Park from 5-7 p.m.

“It’s right near the entrance to the rodeo, so it’s a good spot,” Selvig said.

The St. Peter Rodeo Company will put on the rodeo at 6:30 p.m. with bronc riding, calf roping, bull riding and barrel racing, to name some events.

Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults, $7 for kids 6-12, and those age 5 and under get in for free.

The event tops off from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with the Winnebago Firemen’s Street Dance in the alley by Lucky Lanes with Side FX playing.

“It’s the first year the firemen have done a MotoFest street dance,” said Selvig, adding that the ones in previous years were done by the MotoFest committee. “The firemen decided to do it, we’re happy they are on board.”

For information, visit winnebagomotofest.org