Delano Heritage Fest to return with bottomless bowls

Delano historian Bill Eppel displays part of his collection of Delano memorabilia in the Delano Heritage Center. He will bring his collection to the Delano Fall Heritage Festival, Saturday, Sept. 28.

Delano historian Bill Eppel displays part of his collection of Delano memorabilia in the Delano Heritage Center. He will bring his collection to the Delano Fall Heritage Festival, Saturday, Sept. 28.

The Fall Heritage Festival will take over downtown Delano from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Visitors can stop by for a bowl of chili, entertainment, numerous children’s activities, a market full of art, crafts, food, local businesses and community organizations. Event planners have kept both adults and children in mind.

The festival will take place on the streets surrounding the Heritage Center, located on Second Street and Bridge Avenue. Proceeds from the festival will be used to match grants for restoration of this historic site.

The Heritage Center building has watched Delano grow from a small village, when it served the community as a Village Hall in 1888, to the city it is today. The building has met the community’s needs throughout the years by housing the village offices, fire station, jail, library and museum. During the festival, Delano historian Bill Eppel will be back to share more of his extensive collection of Delano photos and memorabilia.

One of the highlights of the event actually starts the week leading up to the Saturday festival — the Delano Medallion Hunt. Area businesses sponsor a separate clue each day of the week beginning Saturday, Sept. 21, and for the next week, including the day of the event. The first to find the medallion will win a prize package valued at more than $200.

Anyone who has a great chili recipe can enter the Chili Cook Off. Simply bring a slow cooker with your specialty chili to the Chili Cook Off booth before 11 a.m. It’s free to sign up, and the winner will receive $50 in Delano Dollars that can be spent at local businesses. After being judged, the different versions of chili will be sold for $2 per bowl or $4 for a “bottomless bowl.” All proceeds will go to a local nonprofit organization.

The festival would not be complete without the traditional pie-eating contest. Several local celebrities will face off again this year to see who can eat the most pie in just a few minutes. Hands, forks, and spoons all are off limits. The crowd favorite will be named the 2013 Pie-Eating Champion.

Festival visitors can take a load off their feet while listening to the music of 45 RPM, a band that plays classic hits from the 1950s through 1980s. This event will take place outside near Delano City Hall. The concert is sponsored by the Delano Public Library and funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

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