August 12, 2010 at 9:06 a.m.

Grab your camera and head to Almelund this weekend, Cicadas + Iowa = a happy Grandma

Grab your camera and head to Almelund this weekend, Cicadas + Iowa = a happy Grandma
Grab your camera and head to Almelund this weekend, Cicadas + Iowa = a happy Grandma

Mother Nature is apparently feeling a chill lately, so much that she has ratcheted up the thermostat to around 90 or so. While I am not complaining (who could complain about this summer? We have had warmth and rain - something that has been a distant memory.), the heat usually is a precursor for the annual Almelund Threshing Show. Why not? It just wouldn't feel right looking at tractors wearing a sweatshirt anyway.

The Threshing Show begins Friday and runs all weekend long. I have told you this many times before, if you have young children at your house, bring them to the show. I guarantee you they will love seeing all the colorful tractors and eating some wonderful food. Did I mention that they can sit on most of the tractors?  Makes for a great photo opportunity.

Besides getting to view and touch hundreds of tractors, there are events taking place all day every day at the show. Everyone's favorite, the tractor pull takes place Friday night at 5 p.m. A little too much horsepower for you?  How about a garden tractor pull? That takes place Sunday at 10 a.m. Still too much horsepower? How about a pedal tractor pull? You can enter your child and see how far they can pedal a mini tractor. We had some friends whose child won their age bracket and they got to go to the Corn Palace in South Dakota for the National Pedal Tractor Pull.

There is a massive flea market on site with plenty of antiques and other hidden treasures.

There is dancing both Friday and Saturday nights which is a huge draw. There is a quilt raffle on Sunday. Heck, you can even go to church at the Threshing Show.

Don't forget the most popular part of the show, the tractor parade. Hundreds of tractors fire up their engines and drive single file through the Threshing grounds. It is a very neat parade to watch. You will see every tractor known to man.

Come on out and enjoy the show, but please remember to bring your camera.

This weekend also marks another very popular local celebration. Winehaven winery and vineyard will be hosting the annual Rhubarb Frenzy on Saturday and Sunday. You can enjoy an afternoon of jazz music, lunch from Meredee's Bistro, tours of Winehaven and most importantly taste the new Rhubarb and Strawberry Rhubarb wine. I have to be honest with you, I am not a fan of rhubarb so I was a little leary of trying this wine a few years back. I am here to tell you, it is absolutely wonderful. In fact, when we give wine to friends and family, it is always Winehaven Rhubarb wine.

The Chisago Lakes Baptist School has some exciting news. It has just hired a new administrator to run the school. Jerry Schwenke has accepted the position, and the Baptist school couldn't be more excited. Schwenke, a Minnesota native, will take over immediately and will be joined by his wife Leah, children Joel and Jaimee. Welcome Schwenke's, we think you will be a great addition to the area.

Speaking about festivals, remember Ki Chi Saga Days is just around the corner. This year's celebration promises to be bigger and better than ever. In one week, one of the largest local celebrations will take place. I have told you in recent columns, make sure to purchase your 2010 Ki Chi Saga buttons early so you can qualify for great deals at local businesses, and a chance to win the button drawing.

You still have a chance to enter some or all of the contests taking place at Ki Chi Saga Days. Just go to Chisago City's website and click on community events. You will find registration forms for the grand day parade, Little Miss Ki Chi Saga, a skateboarding contest, food and craft vendors. I would advise you to sign up now, because spots are limited.

My family spent last weekend at one of my favorite places in the world. Iowa. "This guy has flipped his lid!" I can hear you. "Who in their right mind would go to Iowa on purpose?" I would. My family is from Iowa, and yes the drive down there could probably be achieved while sleeping at the wheel, once there, it is one of the most enjoyable places we have ever been.

Both of my grandmothers live in Cedar Falls, which is a twin town with Waterloo. Cedar Falls is an old river town that has been restored beautifully and get this, it is growing. By growing, I mean there are businesss popping up everywhere. Kind of refreshing to see in this day and age.

After doing a small honey do list of chores for my grandma, we took a break and sat on her patio. That is when the sound hit me like a rock concert. There was this awful buzzing noise that was so loud you had to yell to speak to each other. It turns out that Iowa has a Cicada problem. What is a Cicada?  A Cicada is a huge fly/beetle hybrid that lives in the trees and most people think their sound is a tree frog. They make this very loud buzzing noise, that when they join in with other Cicadas, can produce a sound like you have never heard before. My ears were ringing after listening to that all day. The good thing is, my Grandma didn't have to listen to my jokes, instead she would just nod her head and laugh when she saw me smile. I think she wouldn't mind having the Cicadas around all the time.


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