Chinook Sugarbeet Festival a great success


September 16, 2019

Havre Daily News/Derek Hann

Monica Goldhann on a unicyle and dinosaurs from Finley's Food Farm lead cars and other entries in the parade Saturday for Chinook's Sugarbeet Festival.

Editor's note: This version corrects that the dinosaurs in the Chinook Sugarbeet Festival parade were from Finley's Food Farm.

Hundreds of people filled downtown Chinook Saturday for the 2019 Sugarbeet Festival, where several organizations and the Chinook Chamber of Commerce held events and activities for the community and visitors, including the annual parade.

"I think this was a good year," Chinook Area Chamber of Commerce President Daniel Dahl said.

Dahl said the Chamber made a few changes this year to the festival, such as rather than holding a community dinner, they brought in more food vendors to the event. He added that another change was instead of the Chamber hosting most events, the majority of events and activities at the festival were put on by different community businesses and organizations. 

He said the gun show and the car show at the Blaine County Fairgrounds brought in a lot of different people to the event from outside of the area and it was nice to see so many people.

The Chamber also decided not to host an official street dance, instead hiring a band out of Helena, he said. He added that concert was a good way for people to have fun and promote the bars in the area.

Something else new to the festival this year, he said, was a pie-eating competition, which included a pie toss, where he got covered head to toe in pieces of different pies. He added that many people seemed to enjoy it, and he would like to be able to make the event a tradition and possibly bring more people next year for the event.

The reason more organizations and businesses were asked to put on events was because he doesn't want the Chamber to be burnt out, he said. The Chamber is small and if the Chamber was going to put on all the events for the day they would be burnt out.

Ronda Frey Carlson of Made with Love Jewelry and Carla Frey Streeper of Unique Purse-onalities displayed their wares at the event. Carlson said that, although the event was a little smaller this year, the people were wonderful and they were able to do well.

She said that she also noticed more vendors this year and enjoyed the introduction of the food trucks.

Streeper said the festival is always a fun time and they would be happy to be back next year.

Carlson said that the event was well-done and well-organized. She said the organizers also did a good job with the vendors and were very involved and active with getting vendors this year, and took a personal interest in each vendor and made sure they had everything they needed.

Streeper said she always enjoys the parade and thought the dinosaurs from Finley's Food Farm in this year's parade were great.

Dahl said he always likes the parade and enjoys the businesses and organizations different floats. He added that the Future Farmers of America and the Chinook Pharmacy did a great job.

Jacquese Rasmussen of Havre went to the event with a few of her friends and her children. She said she was having a good time and liked how the festival was more aimed toward the children, with a variety of events and activities for them.  

Her daughter Hannah, 7, said she enjoyed having her face painted, having a unicorn and a bee painted on each cheek. She said she also really enjoyed the parade, specifically the dinosaurs and the fire truck.

Her siblings, Claire, 5, and Skylar, 3, added that they liked the dinosaurs too.

Jacquese Rasmussen added that she would like to come back next year.

"It's a great family-friendly event," she said.

Dan and Amanda Haney of Chinook also took their children to the festival. Dan Haney said they were having a good time and thought it was great for their children. He added that he also thought the parade was a lot better than last year.

"It's good for the community to have the opportunity to get out before winter," he said.

Dahl said this year went well and he wants to carry some of the ideas into next year, such as getting more food vendors and other vendors to attend the event. He added that he also wants to be able to get more activities so more people attend the festival throughout the day and do more advertising prior to the event to generate more interest.

Havre Daily News/Derek Hann


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