Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A photo essay from the Dam Days carnival in Morristown, Minnesota July 17, 2019

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Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

TIS THE SEASON of small town celebrations and county fairs here in Minnesota. We pack a lot of activities and events into the summer months. Carnival rides, games and concession stands pop up on Main Streets and in city parks. Folks flock to fairgrounds, this week locally in Faribault for the Rice County Fair.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Whether you embrace these events or steer clear of them and the ensuing crowds, they are part of our history, our culture, our communities.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

 

In June I photographed snippets of the annual Dam Days celebration in Morristown to the west of Faribault. And later in the month, I took my camera to the Midway at the Faribault Heritage Days celebration in Central Park.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Today I invite you to peruse selected photos from my Sunday afternoon walk among the amusement rides, games and food stands in Morristown.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

On this day mostly locals and those come back to their hometown for Dam Days, enjoyed the festivities and each other’s company in the sunshine of a sweet summer day in southern Minnesota.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Photographing the midway at Dam Days in Morristown June 1, 2013

SET ALONG THE CANNON RIVER in Rice County, Morristown, population around 1,000, bills itself as “The Best Little Town by a Dam Site!”

And this weekend, this southeastern Minnesota community celebrates its annual Dam Days, which continue through tomorrow. It’s one of the first summer celebrations in the area, an event that typically draws large crowds, especially for the Friday evening parade.

The compact Midway in downtown Morristown.

The compact midway in downtown Morristown.

I’ve never attended the parade, but Saturday afternoon my husband and I toured the historic grist mill and schoolhouse and also took in the carnival and kids’ tractor pull.

Dakota waves to his dad who is photographing his little boy's ride on the merry-go-round.

Dakota waves to his dad who is photographing his little boy’s ride on the merry-go-round.

As always, I found an abundance of photo ops. Today I’ll show you the midway. Oh, my gosh, a carnival is a photographer’s playground with colorful characters, happy kids, young love, and just so much to take in.

Enjoy.

In front of the local Legion, the choppers.

In front of the local Legion, the choppers.

The coveted prizes hang high.

The coveted prizes hang high.

Young love. No other words needed.

Young love. No other words needed.

A riot of color.

A riot of color.

The Old Town Tavern advertises its Dam Days specials. Great place to eat.

The Old Town Tavern advertises its Dam Days specials. Great place to eat.

Trying to win a prize.

Trying to win a prize.

One of the healthier food choices.

One of the healthier food choices.

Walking (or falling) in the water balls.

Walking (or falling) in the water balls.

A slow afternoon on the Midway...

A slow afternoon on the midway…at the Dizzy Dragons ride, originating in Faribault.

Shooting to win.

Shooting to win.

One final look at the Midway.

One final look at the carnival.

If you want to experience a small town celebration, head over to Morristown, located about 10 miles west of Faribault on Minnesota State Highway 60, tomorrow. Click here to read the entire list of events happening on Sunday.

Among Sunday events is the 2nd annual Amateur Backyard BBQ Contest, beginning at 1 p.m. in the park by the river. You can sample five BBQed items for $5.

Among Sunday events is the 2nd annual Amateur Backyard BBQ Contest, beginning at 1 p.m. in the park by the river. You can sample five BBQed items for $5.

CHECK BACK FOR MORE POSTS from the Morristown Mill, the old schoolhouse and the kids’ tractor pull.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling