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Menahga Mid-summer festivities bring masses to town

The Birak Shrine Club of Fergus Falls stops by to keep kids off the streets and entertain the audience at the annual Mid-summer parade Saturday. (Riham Feshir / Enterprise)

The Menahga Mid-summer Celebration received some rave reviews.

Stephanie Kavanagh, her husband and two daughters of St. Paul make sure they're in town for the festivities every year.

Kavanagh said the parade's attendance was the most she's seen in the past four years.

"It helps when it's not 90 degrees out," she said.

The weather cooperated nicely Saturday, allowing for a day full of activities for all ages.

The day began with 336 runners participating in the 28th annual St. Urho 5K and 10K run/walk.

"It went quite well," said organizer of the event Tom Ellingson.

Following the run, tournaments began. A horseshoe tournament attracted a few visitors to City Park. The old timers baseball tournament drew baseball players and fans to the fields.

Water fights that haven't been part of annual celebrations for many years were back Saturday. Firemen invited kids and others from the audience to participate in the thrilling competition.

By the end of the day, all gathered for an hour-long parade that featured units from the Park Rapids area.

According to the Menahga Civic and Commerce, approximately 109 units entered the parade this year.

At dusk, people gathered at the shore of Spirit Lake to watch a fireworks show.

"I've seen a lot of fireworks and I still think Menahga's are the best," Kavanagh said.

Children were back at the lake Sunday to participate in the Menahga Conservation Club kids fishing derby.

Forty-two kids registered and most won prizes by the end of the contest. But the grand prize went to four-year-old Madyson Maninga of Menahga who caught 23 fish.

Following the fishing derby, the Porch Pickers' bluegrass tunes entertained an anxious audience waiting for the grand prize drawing.

A raffle drawing gave some attendees the opportunity to win prizes provided by local business and the 2009 Polaris 4-wheeler went to Mike Freeman of Walker.