Thousands of people enjoy the Sartell SummerFest
by Dennis Dalman
Despite a shaky weather forecast with possible rain, Sartell SummerFest 2022 turned out to be an unqualified success with thousands of people showing up for fun all day and late into the night.
All day and night the weather was pleasantly warm with a few clouds but lots of sunshine.
Saturday, June 11 began with the grand parade as thousands of spectators lined the streets between St. Francis Xavier Church and Riverview Middle School. At the Sartell Town Council meeting on June 13, Mayor and Council Member Tim Elness commented on the good turnout for the SummerFest events – the parade, the dance party, the fireworks.
“What a good night!” said Elness.
After the parade, families gathered for some energetic fun at the Libertyville event in the parking lot in front of Sartell Town Hall. There, the children climbed several rubbery bouncy structures and slid down slides. Parents and children lined up to get their makeup done, tattooed, feasted and refreshed.
Meanwhile, at the Sartell Community Center, the Riverside Jazz Band performed on the terrace while inside there was a “Paper Mill Remembrance” social gathering and a “Model Train Show” hosted by the Sartell resident and train enthusiast Ron Euteneuer. The ‘Remembrance’ was a way of honoring Sartell’s century-old paper mill, which was damaged by an explosion and fire 10 years ago on Remembrance Day.
Visitors to the community center wore name badges. Those who worked at the paper mill added to their name tags the number of years they had worked at the mill. Beside a table covered in stacks of old photos sat three former factory employees: Vern Bartel, 35 years at the factory; John Lovitz, 30; and Joe Primesberger, 32. These three mill workers in the Great Hall chatted with visitors who browsed through many artefacts from the old mill provided by the Sartell and Benton County Historical Societies.
At one end of the room were local history books for sale, sold by their authors – Sartell residents Bill Morgan and John Roscoe. Morgan’s just-published book is titled “Where Rivers Merge: Stories from the History of Sartell, Minnesota.” Roscoe’s book is “Minnesota’s Round Barns”.
Back in the City Hall parking lot, a dance started at 6 p.m. with live music provided by local band Radio Nation. A dazzling fireworks display closed the evening.