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Return downtown was a hit for Dew Days

Contestants compete in this year's Dew Days bed race.

The weather was perfect, the crowds were large and by the time the final ride had been ridden Sunday afternoon the message seemed to be pretty clear: That's the Dew Days we remember.

That was the idea with this year's version of Farmington's summer celebration. For several years Dew Days bounced around town, and it seemed to lose fans and build up debt along the way. So when a new group took over for this year's event the idea from the beginning was to bring things back downtown, where the celebration had been held for most of its history. Committee chair Brian Lindquist said that, as much as anything, was the key to what he and others described as a great success this year.

"It was nothing I had to do with it. It was nothing that I went out and made it mystical and magical," said Lindquist, the city's police chief. "It wouldn't have mattered who was in charge this year. Whoever brought it back downtown (would have had success).

"It's like going to a high school reunion," he said. "You can recapture those things you're fond of."

Dew Days organizers said they heard early and often that the celebration needed to return downtown, and the change seemed to work magic on crowds. Dew Days committee member Darla Donnelly said crowds were lined up three deep for Friday night's bed races. Lindquist said all of the vendors he talked to were happy with the business they drew.

"That's what we were looking for is bringing back the old Dew Days," Donnelly said.

Donnelly was thrilled with the results. Asked how she felt about the weekend she repeated three times, "It was great."

Lindquist didn't have an accurate count of the people who showed up but he was happy with crowds throughout the weekend.

"The cruise night was full. The beer garden had a good crowd," he said. "There was a good crowd for the parade."

Several people contributed to this year's Dew Days and brought in new events like a business expo and a fishing tournament. There was also a new art fair at this year's Dew Days.

A core group of about 10 people helped put everything together this year. Lindquist plans to step down as chair now that the event is done, but he believes the group that has formed is well positioned to keep the momentum from this year's event rolling next summer.

Neither Donnelly nor Lindquist identified a specific highlight from the weekend, but both were happy with the event as a whole.

"The highlight was just the overall great turnout and great support and compliments on how great it was to have Dew Days back," Donnelly said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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