Soggy Summerfest still fun

EAGLE GROVE – The early afternoon showers and thunderstorms Saturday did little to keep away a determined crowd away from Summerfest.

While the rain drove away a number of people who had been at the festival earlier, about 25 people still stayed at the festival waiting to participate in different contests and tournaments.

Rachel Cahalan, executive director of the Eagle Grove Chamber of Commerce, said this year brought the return of several popular events.

“This is the second year of our mud volleyball tournament,” she said. “It was so popular we had to set up two courts for it this year. We’ve also added some kids’ events as well.”

Sarah Yackle, of Eagle Grove, took part in the tournament with her team for the second year Saturday.

“I’ve played volleyball in high school and intramurals,” she said.

Her team celebrated a first-round victory early Saturday afternoon.

“We’re all sorts of fun,” Yackle said about her team. “The rain doesn’t stop us.”

Among the new events were a small sand box filled with corn that included pennies hidden throughout.

Another new event was the hot dog eating contest, which six people participated in. The goal was to eat five hot dogs in five minutes or less.

Darren Robinson, of Eagle Grove, ended up finishing all five in just three minutes.

“It was a piece of cake,” Robinson said, adding this was the first time he’d ever competed in a hot dog eating contest.

Mindy Dooley, of Emmetsburg, also took part in her first hot dog eating contest Saturday.

“It was exhilarating,” she said, adding part of the reason she participated was because she was hungry.

Though she didn’t win, Dooley said she wasn’t terribly disappointed.

“I’m not feeling too bad about myself, especially after how far I got,” she said.

While some stuck around after the rain began, Cahalan admitted the weather did cause problems.

“You spend eight to 10 months planning all your events and then the weather doesn’t cooperate,” she said. “It’s made a big difference in the amount of people that showed up. It’s really put a damper on the year.”

Still, Cahalan said she was happy with the amount of people that stayed.

“It’s still a pretty good turnout,” she said. “We’ll just have to get ready and plan for next year.”