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Snellman to continue tradition for fifth year

Last year's contestants bite into watermelons, each one rushing in hopes of receiving the championship title.

It has a welcome sign - just in case you miss it - but no official population.

A town like Snellman - population of 10 or so - deserves a pat on the back for keeping its annual festivities strong for five years.

The fifth annual Snellman Days celebration will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6.

In 2004, owner of the Snellman Store Joe Furlong decided to give flea market vendors an opportunity to sell their goods in Snellman on a weekly basis.

The idea turned into an annual celebration; adding more activities each year and coming up with creative ways to bring the community together.

The popular watermelon-eating contest, which will be held Saturday, usually draws visitors from the area as well as tourists just driving by on Highway 34.

Like Mort Sarabakhsh of Fargo, who happened to be driving on Highway 34 with family and out-of-town friends last year heading to a destination far from Snellman. But they decided to pull over to participate in the watermelon-eating contest.

The Jamestown College professor - Sarabakhsh - didn't win, but he said he sure had a good time.

To win, contestants must eat at least five or six pieces, whoever finishes fastest will win.

Following the contest, a mayor drawing will take place.

So what does one have to do to become the next Snellman mayor?

Step 1: Pay $1.

Step 2: Throw your name in the jar.

Step 3: Cross your fingers and hope for the best.

But for the rest of us who don't want the responsibility of mayor, here is the schedule of events for the Labor Day weekend celebration:

From 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, the Lutheran Church of Snellman will serve brunch.

The watermelon-eating contest and the mayor drawing will follow the brunch.

Rug weaving demonstrations will take place all day Saturday and Sunday.

Vendors will also be available at the flea market all day Saturday and Sunday, while Furlong cooks up some brats and hamburgers for meat lovers. There will also be live music to entertain.