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Despite challenges, Dew Days was a success

A chance to put hula hoop skills to the test in a competition sponsored by Olympus 24 Fitness.2 / 2

There were more than a few challenges during this year's Dew Days celebration. Maybe that's what made it such a success.

What kind of challenges? Heavy rains Thursday cancelled the first farmer's market of the year and sent the Flavors of Farmington event inside the Schmitz-Maki Arena. The rain came back Saturday afternoon, forcing Zumba participants to dance in the rain, and rib cookoff contestants to hold down the edges of their tents.

But the rains stopped at exactly 3:57 p.m. Saturday, just in time for the 4 p.m. parade - continuing the streak of luck that has enabled the Dew Days parade to go on year after year without being cancelled due to inclement weather.

Then, a semi hit the power lines and shortened the parade route by a block. But that's another story.

The miscues continued right down to the annual Kiss the Pig contest, which this year became a Kiss the Puppy contest because the pig got sick right before the 2012 winner was crowned.

It was a year to remember for co-chair Darla Donnelly, and not just for all of the problems.

"As numbers go, this is the biggest amount that this group of (organizers) had, as far as sales and all that. It was a great year, even with all of the mishaps," Donnelly said Monday. "There was a lot of revamping. 'Revamping' was the motto of the year."

But maybe that's what brought so much success to this year's Dew Days. Donnelly heard lots of good comments from downtown business owners who said they were pleased with the crowds. Both Friday and Saturday evening events brought participants of all ages to the downtown area, and the newest event, Beer, Brats and Bingo, drew more than 200 players on Wednesday.

The parade had a record 94 units this year. Had it not been for the route being moved early on, the parade would have gone off without a hitch. The softball tournaments wrapped up Sunday, and all reports so far indicate those were successful, as well.

It's too soon to tell exactly how much the 2012 Dew Days event made, Donnelly said. However, initial reports from treasurer Jeff Thelen are that sales were up this year.

"I think everybody was very pleased, everybody had a lot of fun," Donnelly said. "It was a pretty easy-going weekend for most people."

Most people, including Donnelly and some of the rest of the Dew Days committee members, that is.

"I'm just really happy with it. We're all exhausted, but we're always exhausted with it. We talked a lot about 'next year, next year, next year.' Obviously it wasn't that draining to all of us because we all said that, 'next year,'" she 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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