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Big Bog Festival packed with events for all ages

KELLIHER -- From North Beltrami Heritage Center exhibits to Saturday's "Trike and Bike" races, the Big Bog Festival will have something for everyone.

The three-day event kicks off today with a potluck picnic at 5:30 p.m. at Homestead Park in Waskish with a presentation, "Bombing of the Big Bog," to follow at 7 p.m. at the Big Bog Visitor Center.

"Years ago, Cold War era, they were doing all kinds of testing on bombs and this and that and they bombed the Big Bog up there," said Shelly Krueth, event organizer. "There's a lot of the trees that still have shrapnel in them."

Krueth said her father was a logger in the area and, at the time, local sawmills would have to deny trees that came from the bog area to avoid damaging sawblades.

After the presentation and back in Kelliher, the local band "Obstruction of Justice" will play at the Kelliher Liquor Store. They will play again at the same time Saturday.

The largest crowd, according to Krueth, is typically drawn for the parade, which this year is themed "Our Community Through the Ages." It will be begin at 1 p.m. Saturday with a new route in place due to road construction, making the jaunt one block shorter. Krueth said that spectators will have to set up on Highway 72.

From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, the food and flea market will be open in the gym of the Old School Center. The children's tractor begins at 10 a.m. with games and activities to follow at the Old School Center until 5 p.m. and the "Trike and Bike" races are set for 2 p.m. near Cornerstone residence.

The Firemen's Water Fight is planned for 2 p.m. on Saturday and will follow with the "Firemen Brats and Dogs" lunch at the Old School Center. The beer garden will be open from 1 to 7 p.m., located south of the Old School Center.

Sunday's events will be in Waskish beginning with an Ecumenical Church Service at 9 a.m. at Homestead Park with a wild rice pancake breakfast, invitational softball tournament and pop-can fishing clinic afterward.

The Kiddie Parade and Kiddie Games will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the ATV Mud Run is set for noon, which Krueth also said draws a larger crowd.

The North Beltrami Heritage Center, 128 Clark Ave. N, in Kelliher, will be open during the festival from 1 to 4 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday featuring the new exhibit "Home on the Range." The "Heritage Sculpture Garden" will also be available for viewing.

If You Go:

What: Big Bog Festival

Where: Kelliher and Waskish communities

When: Today through Sunday

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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