Here comes the bug — ready or not!
Boxelder Bug Days is just around the corner with the three-day annual event being held Sept. 7-9 in Minneota. One of the more popular activities held during Boxelder Bug Days is the Smokin’ BBQ Cook-off with the public able to sample and vote for their favorite recipe.
The smell of ribs, chicken and beef wafting through the downtown business district acts as a magnet to attract the public to the Community Center lot where the contest is held.
This year, the public will have a second food item to sample and vote for. “We’re going to add chicken legs to the public tasting contest this year,” said DJ Prellwitz, who organizes the event with her husband Randy.
“We usually meet with the cooks a few weeks before the event and ask them for ideas, and they wanted to do this.”
The chicken public tasting contest will be held at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday with tickets costing $1 for each sample the public wishes to taste. Voting ballots will also be given out to those purchasing tickets.
Each year, the Smokin’ BBQ Cook-off features several contestants competing in grilling three types of meat -- babyback pork ribs, chicken and beef.
Each dish is judged by a panel and awards are given for the top ribs, top chicken and top beef dishes, plus awards for the top three overall dishes. “The rib contest will be the same as last year,” said Prellwitz.
“Tickets go on sale and voting ballots handed out at 5:45 p.m. for the public tasting rib contest.” There will be a limited amount of chicken legs and ribs, so Prellwitz urges everyone to get there early to help vote.
The public tasting winner of each of the chicken and ribs dishes receives all the money that has been accumulated in each of the pots. Contestants must be at least 18 years old.
Last year’s public tasting ribs winner, Dallas Reese, received over $300. Judge’s winners last year were: Eric Faris, chicken, beef and overall; John Otto, ribs and second overall; Mike Nybo, third overall.
“There is still more room for Grill Masters to join us,” said Prellwitz. “All the information can be found on the Boxelder Bug Days (website or Facebook) page.”
Water fights new this year
New to Boxelder Bug Days this year is the Fireman’s Water Fights. The 16-team, single-elimination tournament will be held following the parade on Sunday on Jefferson Street. Contestants must be at least 18 years old.
Each team will have three members. Entry fee is $30 per team with the winning team receiving their entry fee back. The Water Fight tournament is a fundraiser for the Minneota Community Swimming Pool. Register at Prairie Winds Wellness or Gislason’s Hardware.
Grant Moorse, a member of the Minneota Fire Department, brought up the idea of the water fight competition to raise money for the much-needed pool repairs, and after making sure the appropriate parties were on board, the event will take place.
The Fire Department hosted “water fights” during National Night Out, which inspired the idea to include it for Bug Days.
Following the 16-team tournament, there will be two “special” water fights featuring the Fire Department against the First Responders, and the City Council against the EDA.
There will be a collection jar during Bug Days for people to donate money in the name of one of the four aforementioned city teams. The team with the most money collected will be given an advantage during their particular water fight.
Also, new this year to Bug Days is the National Guard Climbing Wall.
Johnny Tillemans Chili Cook-off
The annual Johnny Tillemans Memorial Chili Cook-off Saturday at the Community Center lot draws a crowd of people to watch the cook’s prepare various chili recipes.
The public can sample the chili at approximately 1 p.m. after the judge’s have taken their samples. The public samples are $1 per cup or $3 per bowl. Awards are given out for the Judge’s Winner, and top three People’s Choice winners. Last year’s Judge’s Winner was Pete Doyscher.
The top three People’s Choice winners were Jeremy Friedrichs, Carey Doyscher and Hilary DeVlaeminck. The proceeds go to Prairie Hospice Community Care. Entertainment Entertainment for this year’s Boxelder Bug Days will include “On the Run” featuring “Avenger Joe”, as well as “Two Hicks and Chick”, “Route 68” and Kayla Daniels.
And the annual Grande Parade will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Bug Days events Boxelder Bug Days will again feature a myriad of activities, events, entertainment, contests, food and fun for all ages.
This year’s Bug logo design winner was Danielle Ryer, who also won in 2018. Because of the popularity of last year’s “Shove the Bug” event in which participants push a Volkswagen as fast as they can for a specified distance, the Boxelder Bug Days committee members are bringing it back again this year.
There will also again be a Community Worship Service at 10 a.m. on Sunday at the Bug Square. Picnic table seating will be available, or those attending can bring their own lawn chairs.
The Vendor and Craft Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Veteran’s Park parking lot. The “Run the Bug” 5k and 10k races, as well as the 1k Kiddie Race will be held on Saturday with a chip-timing system. Last year’s 10k male winner was Tim Frye, while the female winner was Lisa Becker.
Josh Mages was the male 5k winner last year’s event, and Karissa Nissen was the female 5k winner. The 1k Kiddy Race begins at 8 a.m. and the 5k and 10k races begin at 8:30 a.m.
The Silver Spur Saddle Club is hosting the 50th anniversary of the Barrel Series beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Some of the other events include: PTA dunking tank, boxelder bug races, kiddie parade, inflatables, kiddie tractor pull, bean bag tournament, food vendors and more. For a complete list of event, visit www.boxelderbugdays.com.