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Plenty of soup, sun served in Somerset

A parade watcher snatches up a couple pieces of candy left on the street after the parade.1 / 8
2 / 8
Karah Cherry, 5, of Somerset keeps her eye on the dice during one of the minute-to-win-it games at the Somerset Public Library.3 / 8
Nine-month-old Samuel Belisle's stroller was decked out in a Dr. Seuss theme for the kiddie parade on Sunday.4 / 8
Chuck and Carol Votruba rode in the parade on Saturday as this year's grand marshals.5 / 8
Richard LaLonde of Somerset won the pea soup contest this year. He is pictured filling up a cup with his creation.6 / 8
Paisley Stanton, 16 months, of Somerset held on tight and smiled on one of the carnival rides.7 / 8
Layne Pinska, 4, of Somerset had a big smile while he pedaled away during the kiddie tractor pull.8 / 8

There was plenty of sweat and soup in Somerset last weekend for the annual Pea Soup Days celebration.

Somerset Chamber of Commerce President Casey Goessl said that despite the high humidity and heat, the event went really well and organizers were happy with the turnout.

The weekend started Thursday, June 7, when 298 people participated in the Pea Soup 5K and 34 participants ran in the kid's 800-meter run hosted by OSI and the Training Room to raise money for the Somerset girls soccer program.

Jerrod Berget, 22, won the 5K race with a time of 17:02.40. The race results are available on the New Richmond Running Club website:

Goessl said Friday was the most successful day of the weekend.

He said in addition to new carnival rides and the start of the 15-team softball tournament, the live music by The Devon Worley Band brought a lot of people to the Village Park.

"The carnival was a huge hit and the band was tremendous," Goessl said.

He said the Saturday afternoon parade had the streets of Somerset packed as 47 local businesses and organizations made their way through town. Following the parade, attendees did a little shopping in the streets at the afternoon craft fair and many residents tested their skills with minute-to-win-it games at the Somerset Public Library.

There were three entries in the pea soup contest Saturday. Richard LaLonde's creation took first place while AJ Likewise took second and Debbie Thompson, third.

Nine talented acts took the stage for the Saturday evening talent show. The big tent was packed as various musical acts serenaded the crowd.

Sunday wrapped up with Sportsmen's Bar winning the weekend-long softball tournament.

Local kids and some pets paraded through the streets for the kiddie pet costume and bike decorating parade. Pumpkin the Clown worked her magic for the kids and made balloon animals before the start of the kiddie tractor pull.

There were 62 kids signed up for the tractor pull this year and many local kids finished in the top three in their age groups.

Goessl said the event wouldn't have been such a success had it not been for all of the support from community members, businesses and other local organizations.

"We continue to get support from the community, that's one way we measure our success," he said.

Next year the Pea Soup Days celebration is scheduled for June 7-9.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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