Warm sunshine, live music and the smell of fried food worked their magic on the streets of Dorset on Sunday.

Taste of Dorset made a mouthwatering return after being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. The annual Dorset Daily Bugle calls the tiny town the “restaurant capital of the world.”

Locals said the turnout for Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021 wasn't as good as in previous years, but the crowd grew as the day went on.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
Locals said the turnout for Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021 wasn't as good as in previous years, but the crowd grew as the day went on. Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

A section of the highway through town was blocked while the Hubbard County Mounted Posse patrolled the event.

According to several local people, the turnout wasn’t as big as in previous years, but the crowd did grow throughout the day.

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Local restaurants sold small servings of their signature dishes on the street, including pizza, broasted chicken, Mexican and Italian specialties as well as Korean beef bowls, duck wontons and prime rib sandwiches.

Matt Coumbe and his Rhodesian ridgeback buddy Bear not only saw the sights, but sampled the food at Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. Bear, who guards the Eagle Beach resort in Park Rapids, tried at least a beef burrito, a broasted chicken leg, a piece of blueberry pie and a churro.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
Matt Coumbe and his Rhodesian ridgeback buddy Bear not only saw the sights, but sampled the food at Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. Bear, who guards the Eagle Beach resort in Park Rapids, tried at least a beef burrito, a broasted chicken leg, a piece of blueberry pie and a churro. Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Outside the roadblock, members of First English Lutheran Church set up a picnic pavilion in a shady spot along the Heartland Trail, serving corn on the cob and an assortment of pies.

This year there was only one band performing live during the event. Playing covers of classic hits, they called themselves Hungry Bear just for the occasion.

Everett Erpelding and Tucker and Logan Torkelson cheer their fishies on during a minnow race at Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
Everett Erpelding and Tucker and Logan Torkelson cheer their fishies on during a minnow race at Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

Other local businesses opened their doors to the crowd as well, offering souvenirs and fresh cookies as well as their usual merchandise.

Kids’ games included minnow and crawdad races, a beanbag toss game and a spinning wheel. Meanwhile, children got their piece of the Taste of Dorset action, working in vendor booths and hawking bottled water and cans of pop.

Mayor 'elected'

After a $1-per-vote mayoral "campaign" during Taste of Dorset, a drawing determined that the mayor of Dorset for 2021-22 will be Jade Kruger of Moorhead.

Jade Kruger of Moorhead was "elected" mayor of Dorset for 2021-22 at Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021.
Contributed / Jade Kruger
Jade Kruger of Moorhead was "elected" mayor of Dorset for 2021-22 at Taste of Dorset on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. Contributed / Jade Kruger

A nursing student at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Kruger was not present at Taste of Dorset, but she was nominated by her mom and other Goeson family members, also from Moorhead, who attended the event.

“We bike the Heartland Trail every summer, and we have to stop at Dorset for the ice cream and shopping,” Kruger said in a phone interview. “It’s one of our favorite parts of the summer.”

During her year in office, Kruger said, she plans to promote traveling to Dorset in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

“I am super excited, because it gives me a chance to help promote them and get more people to go there and shop there and help out the town,” she said.