Food stands, live music, crawfish races and the annual election of the town's ceremonial mayor drew a considerable crowd on Sunday to Taste of Dorset.
As evidence of the size of the turnout, the town's parking areas overflowed onto the shoulder of the highway up to a half-mile out of town. Many visitors caught Heartland Express bus rides from distant parking spots north and south, and a horse-drawn wagon carried groups east and west on the Heartland State Trail.
Among the highlights of the day was a three-vehicle parade, possibly one of the region's shortest parades this summer.
Stacey Offerdahl with Compañeros Mexican Restaurant said, "It seemed like there was a ton of people here."
Julie Kvitne at Meadowbrook called this year's Taste of Dorset the best ever. "Every event this year has been over the top," she said. "The people support Dorset because it's a fun, family-friendly, pet-friendly town. Also, the weather was great."
Katie Walsh, daughter of outgoing 2017-18 Mayor Teresa Walsh, spent the day working at the Compañeros food stand. She said, "It was definitely a hot one, but it's always fun to see all the people coming out, having a good time and enjoying the music, the food."
Rachel Erickson with the Dorset Chick'n Coop Restaurant said, "This one was terrific. I felt like the turnout was as good or better than any other year we've had it, and the weather was perfect."
"We had a fantastic turnout," said Joan Grover, who owns the Antique Stop and Dorset Books. "I think that this year, people are happy and excited. Dorset in general is having a really good year. We really appreciate that everybody is so supportive of our little community. Without people like that, these little shops and restaurants wouldn't be able to survive."
Nancy Freeman with Lundrigan's Clothing and Shoes booth said their booth's supply of 250 walleye cakes sold out.
"It was an awesome event," she said, "a nice crowd as usual. But it was a little hot!"