Posted 6/23/15 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
“Things are on the upbeat here,” auctioneer Butch Haugland said as the 4-H and FFA’s livestock and labor auction wound down Saturday at the Divide County Fairgrounds. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful day.”
He was remarking on the more than $11,000 bidders had just raised for those programs, but the same was true for the fair as a whole, as bookend storms Friday and Sunday afternoon had no effect on any of Saturday’s events.
The lack of rain Saturday was actually regrettable for one event: the inaugural mud run. The fairgrounds had dried by race time, but fire trucks were on hand to help drench the roughly two dozen kids and three dozen mostly young adults who raced in teams of four.
The course wasn’t too intimidating at first, with just some shallow trenches full of muddy water among other obstacles, until near the end when participants had to crawl through the mud.
But everybody cleaned up at the finish line, as firefighters poured water and dish soap onto a tarp placed down a hill to create a makeshift water slide.
That was the clear hit of the event, with most choosing to dive down the slide much more than once, but the entire race received rave reviews.
“Long, tiring, but fun,” was Robby Lorentz’s brief critique.
“Can I go do it again?” Seth Haugland said afterward. “I’d like to!”
Proceeds for the mud run went toward the Divide County fire department.
Some of the racers had to quickly switch into drier clothes and get to the auction, where Haugland had high praise for many of the animals, including Tucker Svangstu’s grand champion steer.
“You talk about a market steer -- he’s put together, isn’t he, folks?” Haugland said to the crowd. “That’s as good a steer as has ever walked through here.”
Earlier Saturday, the parade saw a slight uptick in participation, with 20 classic cars, a few additional businesses and two league-champion hockey teams taking part.
Friday’s rain didn’t threaten the fair’s first bull-a-rama show, as Abrahamson Rodeo Company of Berthold continued to perform for a crowd that remained dry in the grandstand. Sunday’s ranch rodeos saw some sprinkles as well but otherwise proceeded as scheduled.