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Hubbard sleigh fest holds old-fashioned fun

Hubbard will hold an old-fashioned sleigh festival along Main Street Sunday, Feb. 26. The festival honors the community's prairie heritage and marks the return of this popular event after a hiatus of more than 10 years.

A parade of sleighs will wind through the village beginning at 1 p.m. Up to 20 rigs are expected to participate ranging in size from traditional small "Currier and Ives" cutters to large logging-size sleigh busses. Gov. and Mrs. Lucius Hubbard (1882-1887) will lead the parade as grand marshals.

Sleighs were the only form of winter transportation in this small rural village in the late 1800s, taking people and goods to and from larger population centers such as Verndale and Park Rapids.

Sleigh and wagon rides will be held throughout the day. Drivers will be available to talk about the fine points of sleighing for visitors. Dick Schauer, owner of The Working Horse in Park Rapids, is coordinating horse and sleigh events.

Snow sculpture carving, beginning on Saturday, will continue through Sunday noon. Prizes will be awarded after the parade. Visitors can also enjoy a dog-sledding demonstration nearby.

"Tasty Teamsters Chili" and corn bread will be served in the Community Center by members of the Hubbard United Methodist Church. The center will also be the hub for fun activities for kids, such as a medallion hunt with cash prizes. Clues will be posted on the trees outside the Hilltop Inn and at the Community Center at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m., Gov. Hubbard will give a short address at the Long Lake Theater. The event marks the governor's first appearance in the village bearing his name. His visit is courtesy of the Long Lake Theater.

Visitors can buy a special teamsters mug to fill with hot chocolate and participate as five Park Rapids dining spots vie for "Best Hot Chocolate in the County." The competition will be held at the large assembly room at the Hilltop Inn beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Well-known country band, County 20, will perform in the Long Lake Theater from 3 to 4 p.m. following the governor's address. Musical selections will include several tunes popular in the late1880's and other tunes by request.

Old-fashioned winter enthusiasts can enjoy mulled wine and hot cider in the theater lounge while listening to the music.

Buttons are on sale for $5 at the Hilltop Inn in Hubbard and in Park Rapids at River Bend, 3rd Street Market, Beagle Books and Summerhill on 2nd. Buttons will help support the festival and also entitle the purchaser to sleigh and wagon rides, hot chocolate, the governor's address and music.

Children under 12 are admitted free to these events. Buttons will be numbered, with prizes drawn after the parade.

Hubbard is located eight miles south and east of Park Rapids at the intersection of County Roads 6 and 87.

For more information, contact Jim Johnson at 237-5203.