The festivities began two weekends ago and concluded with the road race around Lake Koronis on Saturday morning. In between, a new Miss Paynesville was crowned, two parades were held, thousands of carnival rides were taken, and umpteen pounds were gained from the assortment of delicious, if unhealthy, food offerings.
This year was the 51st anniversary of a community festival. Paynesville has celebrated since Ice Cream Day in 1949. The festival has been called Town and Country Days since 1961.
Miss Paynesville pageant
A day after their coronation, the girls in Miss Paynesville court for 2000 were still having a hard time believing they had won. The new Miss Paynesville, Trista Dukowitz, said she was living in a dream. Dukowitz, 17, was crowned Miss Paynesville during the pageant on Monday, June 19.
Crowned first princess was Ginni Lahr. She also received the poise and appearance award and shared Miss Congeniality with Becca Werlinger, who was chosen as second princess.
A day after the pageant, Werlinger said the reality that she had been crowned didn’t seem real.
The talent award was presented to Tammy Christensen for her vocal solo, “How Beautiful.”
Dukowitz urged other girls to try for the title next year. Lahr had a lot of fun during the pageant practices and anticipates a great summer riding in parades with Willie Scheel as their driver.
Eight girls competed for the honor to wear the crown and to represent Paynesville at area parades and functions. Also competing for the title were Kari Frank, Katrina Orbeck, Heidi Wilder, and Jana Zumwalde.
Presenting the crowns were the 1999 royalty: Miss Paynesville Allison Thompson, and princesses, Amanda Granzow and Melissa Reiter.
Emcee for the pageant was Dr. Bob Gardner. Escorts were Josh Bork and Matt Brauchler.
Sixty-three entrants participated in the pet show on Tuesday morning on the lawn of the Good Samaritan Care Center.
Ginni Lahr, 1st princesses, reaches for a guinea pig while judging the pet show.
Jayna Flanders won the grand championship with her lamb, Bo. Jayna dressed the part of Little Bo-Peep.
The first place winner was Ryan Gale and his pet piranha. In second place was Robert Teerstig and his dog. Third was Trista Meyer and her dog. Josh Fenske won the award for the most unusual pet with his pig.
The float featuring the next generation of Pepsi drinkers won the grand champion award at the Kiddie Parade on Tuesday afternoon. The next generation of Pepsi drinkers were Dominic and Tiffany Platow, Chelsey Kilonowski, and Konky and Malika Jones.
The parade had more than 60 children participating. Costumes included unicorns, angels, farmers, fishermen, and cartoon characters.
The parade started at the Good Samaritan Care Center and ended at the Gazebo Park, where the winners were announced.
First place honors went to the angels on the Heaven On Earth float. On the float were Rachel Rittenhouse, Shelby and Sadie Rolfes, Samantha Eickhoff, and Lori Hellerman.
Second place went to the Flintstones in their prehistoric car. In the car were Brooke, Kayla, and Hannah Olmscheid, Trent and Travis Blonigen, Kelsey Noonan, and Collette Schmidt.
Third place went to the future farmers of America, who carried baby goats: Holly Stang, and Alex and Grant Kulzer.
Judges for the kiddie parade were Miss Paynesville Trista Dukowitz and her princesses Ginni Lahr and Becca Werlinger.
The Family Chalk Art contest took place on the south side of James Street on Tuesday afternoon.
The event was organized by the Consortium for Creative Arts and was promoted as a fun family event.
“The whole idea is just for the kids to be doing fun things,” said Janell Hoffman, who helped with the activity.
For $2, participants received a box of chalk and a block of sidewalk to decorate.
The event was judged by Dukowitz and her royalty. Winners in four categories received ten carnival tickets.
The best nature/animal scene went to the Glen and Teri Fleischhacker family. The best Town and Country Days theme went to Jessica Lee Klein and Kally Felling.
The Linda Henkel family drew the best family portrait, while the most unique artwork award went to the Vonda Christian family.
Later that night, the Consortium sponsored a painting booth. Easels were set up, and kids were able to paint for fun.
A pedal tractor pull for kids, ages four to 11, was held Tuesday, June 20, on James Street as part of games night.
The Paynesville Area Jaycees organized a number of activities for kids on games night. The largest crowd gathered to watch 133 kids test their pedaling power.
Miss Paynesville, Trista Dukowitz, tries her hand at the ball toss.
The top two in each age group will advance to state competition, which will be held throughout the day in Hutchinson at the McLeod County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Winners at the state competition will qualify for the national pull in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, Sept. 23. There also is an international competition beyond that.
Winners on Tuesday in Paynesville were:
Four-year-olds: (1) Taylor Larson, Milan; (2) Brooke Hemmesch, Paynesville; (3) Samantha Dahl, Belgrade;
Five-year-olds: (1) Jason Soine, Hawick; (2) Peter George, Cold Spring; (3) Zachary Imholte, Paynesville;
Six-year-olds: (1) Trent Blonigen, Paynesville; Connor Hacklander, Paynesville; Jessica Stransky, Paynesville;
Seven-year-olds: Brooke Olmscheid, Freeport; Aaron Hanson, Benson; Tanner Wendroth, Paynesville;
Eight-year-olds: Hannah Setterberg, Paynesville; Cody Lieser, Paynesville; Eric Wolbeck, Hawick;
Nine-year-olds: Ryan Peterson, Paynesville; Jessica Klein, Paynesville; Jon Pflueger, Paynesville;
Ten-year-olds: Lorie Barta, Faribault; Cyril Storkamp, Paynesville; Riley Sampson, Paynesville;
11-year-olds: Jessica Schwartz, Roscoe; Lisa Smith, New London; Max Lahr, Paynesville.
The clouds threatened to rain most of Wednesday afternoon. It even drizzled for ten minutes just before the grand parade started at 7 p.m., but once again the rain ceased and crowds lined the streets of Paynesville to enjoy the parade.
People along the parade route reach out for some candy thrown by the passing parade units.
The parade had 95 registered entries, including six bands.
Only five bands competed for the prize, as Paynesville, the host band, did not compete. The winning band was from Bertha-Hewitt. The St. Cloud All City Band was second, and Benson was third. Albany was fourth, and Princeton was fifth.
The float winner, as judged by grand marshals Dwight and Grace Peteler, was the New London Royalty float.
After the parade, the carnival and downtown booths stayed open until midnight. Merriam’s Midway Carnival disappeared overnight and by morning the streets were empty again until next year.
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