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At least one weekend a year, the population of Somerset swells to roughly 20 times its normal amount of 2,300. According to Larry Barr, producer at the Float-Rite concert site, there were about 40,000-45,000 people attending Country Splash over the weekend of June 17-19. "It's been pretty equal to what we had last year," Barr said.
It was a sunny, yet windy day on Wednesday, June 9. "It could be a blessing, or a hindrance," said David Dunleap, as he adjusted his bike helmet outside the Somerset Fire Hall. Dunleap, 54, was one of several Somerset residents participating in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, which started in Superior at 7:30 a.m. and ended in Allen Park in Chippewa Falls by 4 p.m. The Somerset leg began around 9:30 a.m. at the Fire Hall on Highway 35.
The Roberts Village Board covered a variety of topics at its Monday, June 14, meeting. Scott Gerhardt, board member, opened the meeting with a question about the village's stray cat issue. Roberts Police Chief Dan Burgess said that since the animal shelters have closed, the department has no means to do anything with them in an official capacity. "So, as a homeowner, can we take care of them ourselves?" Gerhardt asked. "I won't promote anyone to be in the street with a .22," Burgess said.
The 2010 Apple River Country Splash and Music Festival has kicked off in Somerset. The three-day concert, held at the Float-Rite concert arena at 715 Spring St., feature many big-name acts such as Zac Brown Band, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, Lee Ann Womack and Joe Nichols. Music runs Thursday through Saturday, June 17-19. Organizers were keeping an eye on a line of thunderstorms that were moving into the Twin Cities around 4 p.m. Thursday.
Somerset was lucky: It didn't rain on its parade. Later on, however, it wasn't so lucky. "Probably our biggest concern was having to cancel the fireworks on Saturday," said Casey Goessl, Somerset Chamber of Commerce president. Goessl explained the Spielbauer Fireworks Company, the vendor hired to do the show, needed four or more hours to set up the display. "If there was any moisture, it would be a waste," Goessl said. Despite the weather, the rest of Pea soup days went well. The annual Pea Soup Days festival kickoff started on Thursday, June 10 with the 5K run.
The Village of Somerset Public Safety Committee went before a special meeting of the Somerset Village Board on June 1 to make a new proposal. The interim conditional use permit for Archies of Minnesota LLC Terry Montpetit was finally approved by the Village of Somerset Board, after it had been sent back to committee at the regular board meeting May 25. At that time, the public safety committee had tried to get the village to approve the permit but Terry and John Montpetit objected to proposed changes.
This Thursday begins the annual Pea Soup Days weekend in Somerset. Advanced tickets for the carnival rides went on sale Tuesday, June 8, and will be available until Thursday evening. Tickets are available at The Training Room (709 Rivard St.) and Econofoods (107 Parent St.) in Somerset. Also, the Somerset Fire/Rescue pancake breakfast will be in a new location.
With summer fast approaching, many churches in the area are gearing up for their annual community outreach endeavors, specifically vacation Bible schools. Vacation Bible Schools are a low-cost/no-cost way for parents to have their children entertained over several days while doing faith-related activities and crafts.
The main topic of the Somerset Village Board meeting on May 25 was the interim conditional use permit issued to Archies of Minnesota LLC, Terry Montpetit, for the Float-Rite Country Splash concert the weekend of June 17-19.
There's a new face at the Somerset Post Office. For the time being, at least. Dan Pittman is serving as the interim postmaster for the facility since Pete Boetcher retired on May 1. Although he lives in River Falls, he has worked at the Roberts Post Office since June 2004. Another postmaster is filling the Roberts position while he is in Somerset. Pittman said that he has filled in for other locations before, most recently in Minneapolis for a year. "This is a really great office," Pittman said.