The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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June 6, 2013

A festival for the fish

Catch Waterville's Bullhead Days beginning on Friday

Each June, Minnesotans consume 14,000 servings of fried bullhead sold from a concession stand at Waterville’s Bullhead Days festival. Local residents run the stand.

“People save the bullheads all winter long,” said Sue Myers, Bullhead Days organizer and president of the Chamber of Commerce. “They clean them all by hand and freeze them. I think it’s two or three fish on a plate with bread and butter,” she continued. “People come from miles around for their bullheads.”

The Bullhead Days event runs Friday through Sunday this year. There is a full calendar each day, with events for all ages and interests, including an ongoing carnival run by Family Fun Shows of Mankato. Friday evening is the Miss Waterville pageant, as well as the Junior Miss Waterville pageant for elementary school children.

“This is the 57th Miss Waterville pageant, but only the 49th Bullhead Days,” Myers explained. “The name changed to Bullhead Days after the first few years.”

Fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m. over the lake on Friday evening.

Saturday features a hot dog eating contest, a kids’ tractor pull, and a kids’ fishing contest. Saturday morning is also when the Sakatah Challenge takes place. This event includes a 5k walk, 10k run, and 11-mile bike ride offered to all who would like to participate. In the evening, a euchre tournament with 100 percent payout will be held at Main Street Lounge; there will also be a bean bag tournament held there on Saturday.

Sunday morning features a community hymn sing, followed by the grand parade. After the parade, a raffle drawing will take place on the main entertainment stage while a balloon artist helps to entertain the kids in the audience.

“The Chamber of Commerce is selling raffle tickets for $1, and the grand prize is $500, second prize is $250, and third prize is $100,” Myers said.

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