After hosting a modified Stars & Stripes Days celebration with fireworks, a craft fair and a patriotic march by the American Legion #49 Color Guard, the Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce jumps right to its next summertime event - Bean Hole Days.
The Tuesday-Wednesday, July 14-15, event also will be modified and carried out a bit differently than usual. Most notable will be the absence of the long line of people waiting to get their free bowl of beans, bun and beverage in Trailside Park.
Instead, because of state regulations resulting from COVID-19, people must register online for a serving time, which will run in half-hour increments from noon to 4 p.m. at Trailside Park, with no more than 250 people registered per half-hour.
Those who register can then choose to stand in line during their time slot, being sure to maintain a 6-foot distance per household from others, or have volunteers deliver the beans to their vehicle. There is a fee for the drive-thru option.
People who show up for beans without registering online will receive a colored ticket with a timestamp. They’ll be asked to shop at stores until their time arrives to get in line.
There will be no tent or chairs for people to congregate in Trailside Park. Instead, people are encouraged to park their vehicles, enjoy their beans and then stroll through the craft booths or cool off with the Water Wars water balloon game.
“Everything was being canceled. We still wanted Bean Hole Days as an option for people to get out,” said event co-chair Cindy Hidde. “It’s an outdoor event and we felt we could manage the crowd if we set it up right.
“Plus, our businesses are hurting after being closed during the stay-at-home order. A strong community has strong businesses, and we need to help our businesses right now,” she said. “We are hoping to maintain the crowd but still bring people into town to patronize our businesses and crafters.”
Beans will also be offered to-go with the newly crowned Miss Pequot Lakes royalty serving containers of beans car side for $10 while supplies last. Enter the parking lot south of the Pequot Lakes Welcome Center at noon to get your beans while they're hot.
In addition to the to-go beans, people can pay $20 for a to-go container of beans and a 2020 limited edition mug; or $35 for a to-go container of beans, 2020 limited edition mug and 2020 T-shirt.
Or mugs will sell for $10 each and T-shirts for $20 each.
The bottom line is, people can still get their fill of beans baked underground overnight in cast iron kettles named Thor, Big Bertha, Ole, Sven, Lena and Baby Olga. The tradition of serving a bowl of beans, bun and beverage - all for free - dates to 1938.
Following is a schedule of events for “rootin’ tootin’ good fun,” according to the chamber:
Tuesday, July 14
5 p.m.: Ribbon cutting for the Pequot Lakes bike repair station, donated by the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point and Crosslake Ideal Lions clubs. The station is at the Pequot Lakes Welcome Center along the Paul Bunyan Trail.
5:30 p.m.: Burying of the beans ceremony, bean pit in Trailside Park.
Wednesday, July 15
9-4 p.m.: Craft show, Trailside Park.
11:30 a.m.: Crowning of the King and Queen Bean, who will declare the beans ready to eat.
Noon: Serving of the beans begins.
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.