The mid-summer classic East Bethel Booster Days took place this past Friday and Saturday, July 18-19.
The festival drew a good portion of the East Bethel community and even a family from as far as Salt Lake City, Utah who were in town to visit.
The busiest day was Saturday, July 19 with the day kicking off with a pancake breakfast, 5K Fun Run and 1K Fun Run for kids before finishing with fireworks at dusk.
Booster Days has some classic favorites, but organizers have not rested on their laurels. The second annual turtle races sponsored by the Cedar-East Bethel Lions and Lioness clubs was a popular event for the kids. It only cost $1 to enter and everyone was a winner, including a local business.
Lioness Club member Pat Paxson said every participant received a coupon for a free ice cream cone, redeemable at Burger King in Ham Lake. Parents and their kids are likely to order something else at Burger King, Paxson said, so this business is also a winner. The first place finisher amongst the 10 in each turtle race also received $5.
All 20 turtles were returned to Coon Lake by the end of Booster Days, Paxson said.
There was even a vintage snowmobile show for the first time in Booster Days history with the owners driving their snowmobiles briefly on the grass to get into position in Booster East Park. The car show moved to a new location by the inflatables near the East Bethel Community Center.
The Grand Parade is always the most well-attended of all the events. A crowd lined both sides of Palisade Street from 229th to 221st avenues, so much so that some parade entries ran out of candy before the end of the parade. Booster Days’ parade always has a good draw of royalty representatives and this year was no different. Nearby communities such as Coon Rapids, St. Francis and Isanti sent royalty courts, but further away visitors came from Northeast Minneapolis and New Brighton, for example.
Before the fireworks show at dusk, a new royalty court had to be crowned at the East Bethel Scholarship Pageant.
The 2014-2015 East Bethel Royalty are Heather Rickbeil, Miss East Bethel, Allisyn Hulst, Junior Princess, and Madison Hall, Little Miss East Bethel.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]