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Attendees stay cool at Pea Soup Days events

Grand marshals Sharon Ammerman and Eloris Rivard waved to the crowd during the parade on Saturday.1 / 3
"Minute to Win It" contestants competed for prizes at Somerset Library during Pea Soup Days.2 / 3
Warm pea soup was a good choice during the cool run of Pea Soup Days in Somerset. Volunteers served many cups of soup during the weekend.3 / 3

Somerset's annual Pea Soup Days enjoyed cool 60 degree weather this past weekend.

The festivities kicked off with 268 registered participants on Thursday, June 9, with the OSI/Training Room Run - 255 ended up finishing the run.

Friday, June 10, had a cloud covering for the Somerset Library book sale and Somerset Lions golf club event at Bristol Ridge. By the time the beer garden, booths and softball tournament started in late afternoon, the clouds had gathered enough rain during the evening. As a result, the fireworks show was postponed until Saturday night.

Saturday opened with a pancake breakfast fundraiser at Somerset Fire/Rescue hall. The parade started just after 11 a.m. on Spring Street, led by the American Legion and co-Grand Marshals Eloris Rivard and Sharon Ammerman.

The carnival rides and craft fair opened after the parade, as well as the beer garden. A new event this year was the Minute to Win It games outside the Somerset Library. A crowd of kids and adults alike gathered to play games like "office tennis" - hitting a paper wad ball back and forth between two clipboards - for candy prizes.

Four contestants entered the first annual Pea Soup Tasting contest: Sharon Germain, Luke Forrest, John Lemire and Kim Korhonen. The public could buy special coins to vote for their favorite entry that afternoon. Germain won first place, Forrest second and Lemire third. They received gift certificates to Chef's Gallery.

The water fight started a bit after the scheduled 3 p.m. start time, but crowds still gathered to watch local fire departments battle with hoses on Spring Street.

The evening entertainment was provided by the first talent show.

"We had five participate in the talent show - high school age and younger," said Casey Goessl, president of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. "We hope to get more adults next year; we're definitely going to keep that event."

The musical act "Crazy Keys" performed a dueling pianos set, followed by the rescheduled fireworks presentation.

Sunday, June 12, was very family-orientated, beginning with a kiddy pet costume and bicycle decorating parade on Spring Street. Entries included a bicycle with a batman car over it and a wagon covered in colorful paper butterflies. The parade ended under the big tent with magic tricks by Pumpkin the Clown, who also made various balloon animals for the children.

The last official event of Pea Soup Days was the new Kiddie Tractor Pull. Eighty-five kids were divided into age groups, tractor provided. Haley Olson, 4, won in the 4-year-old division with her tractor pull of 26 feet, 8 inches.

Somerset Police Chief Doug Briggs said that from a law enforcement perspective, as well as from a Somerset Lion perspective, the weekend went very smoothly.

"The village, Lions and Chamber of Commerce all worked well together to coordinate the festival and it went great," he said.

"The parade is always a hit, and we had some new events with a good crowd - not only those who participated but also who attended," said Goessl.

"We were pleasantly surprised by the turnout overall."