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Hammond celebrates together during Heartland Days

Hammond Heartland Days was held last weekend, and what a weekend it was.

Events ran from Thursday through Sunday. While raindrops fell a few times, no events were washed out.

"Overall it went fairly well," said Jay Ditlefsen, Hammond Lions Club president. The Lions Club organizes many of the activities for the weekend, like the bands. They raised more money than last year, Ditlefsen said.

Money raised by the Lions goes back into the Hammond community and programs within the St. Croix Central School District for the most part, Ditlefsen said.

This was the first year in many that the Lions Club has contracted for a carnival. K&M Rides and Amusements opened on Friday and closed Sunday evening.

Judging by the number of kids carrying carnival prizes, it was pretty successful, Ditlefsen said. The Lions haven't discussed whether or not there will be a carnival again next year, he said.

The free community meal sponsored by Associated Bank on Thursday fed about 400 people, according to the bank.

The 23rd annual United Fire and Rescue Car Show was held on Saturday. About 170 cars were entered. That's about average for the show, said Todd Criego, event organizer.

"It was a great day for everything," Criego said about Saturday.

All proceeds from the car show entry fees go to the United Fire and Rescue Hammond station for equipment. The show is the station's major fund raiser for the year.

The Central St. Croix Area Chamber of Commerce's first annual Heartland Days medallion hunt started on Tuesday, Aug. 10. The medallion was found by Ryan Pawelczyk at the post office. He won $250.

At the pageant

Although Thursday night was a hot one to be in a crowded gym, the bleachers in the St. Croix Central Middle School multi-purpose room were packed for the annual Hammond Heartland Days pageant.

After interviews with the judges, dancing, personal presentations, style shows and a question-and-answer session, Emily Jo Talapa was crowned Miss Hammond 2010. She's the daughter of Vikki and Larry Talapa.

"Running for Miss Hammond is such a good way to get to know people and make new friends. I know I will for sure have some new friends out of this experience," Talapa said in a pre-pageant questionnaire. "I like living in Hammond because it has just a laid back style about it. Everyone is friendly and welcoming."

Princesses are Rachel Gulich, daughter of Lori and Scott Gulich, and Paige Ward, daughter of Darci and Rob Ward.

Shelby Thomley was voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.

Shaylyn Lyksett was the top ticket seller.

Paulette Anderson was presented with the Biggest Heart Award.

At the library

Events at the Hammond Community Library also went well all weekend, said Michelle Johnson, library director.

"The library was busy all weekend with our activities which were inexpensive for families to enjoy and there was great food all around to keep everyone from being hungry," she said.

A huge crowd attended the Teddy Bear Band performance on Wednesday night, despite the 90-degree temperatures.

New to the library's events this year was Arcade Highway, which opened on Friday. Business was slow at first, Johnson said.

"But as the concept of playing video games inside a trailer caught on they were busy inside and everyone had a great time," she said.

There were 44 crafters who set up booths at the craft fair on Saturday.

"We had a beautiful day to have the crafters, and people were out and about looking and admiring the crafters items," Johnson said.

At the library's cookie contest on Saturday, the Gilhousen family took first place for the heart-shaped cookies. Second place went to Ethan Jensen with Oreo cookies and third to Amanda Packer with triple chocolate cookies.