Boxelder Bug invasion coming

The scientific name is, “Leptocoris trivittatus,” but we just call him, “A Boxelder Bug.” When you see a conglomeration of these little fellows massed on the side of your building, or nearly completely dominating your screen door — your first thought is, “How do I get rid of them?”

But when Minneotan Bill Holm penned his “Bug Day Variations,” in 1985, little did he know he’d be setting off a tradition that is alive and well 33 years after he first put pen to paper.

“The bug’s name is several times as large as itself,” he wrote. Leptocoris trivittatus, “Such grand dignity in those syllables,” said Holm.

“It ought to be a Roman emperor’s name, or a phrase from a Requiem Mass,” he wrote.

“Persistence is one of the endearing qualities of the boxelder bug,” Holm said. Little did he know how persistent the Minneota festival named after the small black and red bug would become.

Starting Friday the three-day event kicks off with an evening dance featuring Kayla Daniels — then winds its way through Saturday and Sunday with so much music Johnny Cash would be proud.

Food, fun for the kids, crafts, animals, the annual run/walk, educational exhibits, queen coronation, grand parade and so much more. The festival itself is somewhat like the Boxelder Bug Bill Holm described.

“Aside from existing in great numbers and want to keep you company, they have no unpleasant habits. They make no noise, move slowly, eat nothing of yours, are not poisonous, do not smell, do not bite, and live mostly in out-of-the-way places that you do not wish to use yourself.”

The Boxelder Bug has lent his name to some popular Bug Day events. Let’s see ... there’s the, “Run the Bug,” 5K/10K/Run Walk,” followed by the, “Run the Bug Kiddie Run,” on Saturday morning.

“The Boxelder Bug Races,” just after noon Saturday includes live Boxelder Bugs thrust into a covered ring to race against time.

The winner gets his own spot in Sunday’s Grand Parade. All the time, “Fergus, the Boxelder Bug, (left)” stands guard on the main stage, a symbol of the majestic festival that Bill Holm conceived his pen, that was mightier than a sword. Holm included, “The Boxelder Bug Prays,” poem in his book and it, too, stands as a symbol of the festival his works created.

“I want so little, For so little time; A south window, A wall to climb; The smell of coffee, a radio knob; Nothing to eat, Nothing to rob; Not love, not power; Not even a penny. Forgive me only, For being so many.”

Saturday’s Kiddie Parade usually brings reminders of a simpler day, many “aaaahaaa moments,” and often a replica of the Boxelder Bug itself.

Bean bags will fly, the dunk tank will bring splashes of fun, the pedal pull, inflatables, the Minneota Barrel Race series at the Silver Spur Arena and golf at Countryside Golf Course will keep young and old busy all day.

The sounds of Daniels, “Two Hicks and a Chick,” the band, “On the Run,” and “Avenger Joe” will belt out the tunes Saturday and Sunday. All the while the aromatic smells of the Chili Cook-off and Smokin’ BBQ Tasting at Veteran’s Park will draw a crowd. Let the “The Boxelder Bug Day Invasion Begin!”

Bill Holm

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The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492