Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This weekend was our (new) hometown’s annual Sunflower Festival, or SunFest for short.  It is held every September to celebrate the community.

Although sunflowers are really not a common crop to the area anymore (you don’t see fields and fields of sunflowers, and why I don’t have a picture of one posted here), our town is home to North America’s largest sunflower seed processing plant.  The plant also processes other seeds, like canola and soybeans.

Our town is also a regional terminal for the Canadian Pacific railway.  Charlie doesn’t understand why we can’t ride the train like on the PBS cartoon, Dinosaur Train.  We’ll have to take him on an Amtrak passenger train before he is too old to think it isn’t cool anymore.

During SunFest there are many events: old-time tractor pull, golf scramble, book fair at the library, Lion’s pancake breakfast, 5-K run, quilt show, rummage sales, sunflower hat decorating contest, kiddie parade, Li'l Miss and Mr. Sunflower pageant, festival parade, street dance, and more.

It was quite chilly all weekend, so the only event that we attended was the parade.  This will be our second parade since moving to the farm, and third of the summer.  You can read about our other parade experience here.

We got all bundled up and were ready for the show to start.  Travis’s grandma (his dad’s mom) lives in an apartment building right on the parade route, so we set up our chairs, or strollers, there.

And we were ready for the parade to begin!

Did I mention that it is windy in North Dakota?  It is windy in North Dakota.
The local fire department brought out every engine in the fleet…okay, not sure if this is a true fact, but it may be close.  First this old timer went by just sounding the siren and horn once.

Then this guy went by and was a bit more noisy.

And to really let everyone in the entire town that they didn't want to miss this parade, the last engine came through as if it was really going to a fire (by sound, not speed).

 And Levi went from this…

To this…

Unfortunately, he lasted all of two minutes into the parade.  I am certain that he would have enjoyed the entire thing had it not been for the sirens.  My mother-in-law took him inside the apartment to settle down.

Rather than show you every person that walked/drove by, I’ll just give you the highlights…

The high school marching band!  After all, school is in session, so the kids have to participate (not like in the summer when the marching bands all go on break).

Orange (but not blaze orange) and black are the school colors, in case you were thinking that these kids were gearing up for hunting season or Halloween...maybe some of them are.

Tub go-cart.

Travis says that this guy has had this go-cart for at least 20 years.

Miniature horses.

And most importantly, a sign of the future – fiber-optic cable!

The easements have been signed and sometime this fall the phone company is supposed to be trenching out to the farm and installing fiber-to-the-home, or FTTH.  This means I will someday once again have the convenience of fast internet!  Not to mention cable.

Do you hear that???  Angels are singing!

But the clock is ticking!  It is almost the end of September, and October brings colder weather – maybe even a blizzard.  I anxiously await their arrival.

Oh, and let’s not forget to show off our loot.

Hopefully next year it will be a bit warmer and we’ll attend more of the events.  Until then, we’ll sit on great-grandma’s front stoop and eat our candy.

Still waiting for my fast internet,

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