Fifty years ago, the Church of St. Timothy began an annual tradition of having a picnic at Clover Leaf Farms. This little gathering has turned into a much larger event with carnival rides, live music, raffle drawings and much more.
The 50th annual Church of St. Timothy Carnival is Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 10. The church is located at 707 89th Ave. NE, Blaine.
Mike and Kathy Huey have been members of the church for 47 years, and for the past 22 years they have led the church committee that organizes the carnival.
“Over the years it has become a community event for the city of Blaine,” Mike Huey said.
Clover Leaf Farms served as the first location for what was then simply a picnic. When the farm was sold and housing developments came in the church moved the event to its own facilities but did nothing more than an ice cream social.
To help fund church programming, the event kept expanding and carnival rides were added at least 30 years ago which drew in even more people.
Mike Huey said the carnival rides gives kids a fun alternative to tagging along with their parents when they go shopping for discounts at the event’s “country store” or any other event that may not be as enticing to kids. There are many children’s games beyond the carnival rides as well.
“I think the important thing about those carnival rides is that it brings families in,” he said.
It’s a big group effort to put the festival on. Mike Huey said volunteers help with everything from “wiping off a table to pouring beer in the beer tent to working the country store.”
“There’s so many people that spend their time helping out to make it successful,” he said.
Schedule of events
The official hours of the carnival are 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 and 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. Carnival rides are available the whole time, but watch out for wristband specials on Friday and Saturday between 1 and 4 p.m.
There’s live music every day. The Midnight Mutants Band performs 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 8. The Inside Out Variety Band is on Saturday evening from 6 to 10 p.m. On Sept. 10, the Lightening Creek Variety Band entertains the crowd from 1 to 4 p.m.
Raffle tickets are sold throughout the festival. The drawing happens at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 10, but you do not have to be present to win.
There’s also a Chuck-a-Puck contest. People can buy a hockey puck on Sept. 9 and then chuck it at 7 p.m. The closest person to the target wins.
One of the grand prizes are four Minnesota Twins tickets in the Delta Sky360 Club.
On Sept. 9, there is a magic show at 2 p.m., a police K-9 demonstration at 3 p.m., a fire truck and safety trailer from 1 to 4 p.m. and a best tasting chili contest from 2 to 5 p.m.
There will be grilled food served on Sept. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m., a roast beef dinner on Sept. 9 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and walking tacos served on Sept. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.