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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.
Maurice Baillargeon has been selected as the Somerset Pea Soup Days 2010 grand marshal. Baillargeon, 91, was selected by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and Somerset Lions. Both organizations are sponsoring the parade. "He's been involved with Somerset for a long time," said Casey Goessl, Somerset Chamber of Commerce president. "We brainstormed with the Lions and felt he would be a good candidate." Baillargeon was born Nov. 27, 1919. He graduated from high school in 1939 before joining the Army in 1942.
Clint Eastwood's face from "The Outlaw Josey Wales" squints menacingly from one corner. Another space is occupied by his character from "Hang 'em High." Below are a string of cowboys on horseback, a gallows and tumbleweeds. Although the obvious tribute is to Eastwood, the conception and execution pay homage to another man: local tattoo artist Mike Latessa. Latessa, 28, recently opened Latessa Tattoo at 124 Spring St. in Somerset. He has put in more than 20 hours working on the Eastwood collage on the back of Mike Kjonaas, 35, of St.
It had once been a thriving facility, one of many in Somerset's bustling summer community. However, for the past five years, Apple River Campground has sat empty. "There were nine campgrounds and tubing businesses in Somerset during the 1980s," said Jeff Taylor, general manager of the new Apple River Family Campground. "Last year, there were only two." Add a couple more to that list.