New events aim to get people involved in Farmington Dew Days

Tennis, ‘Olympics’ and public safety are on tap

by Maren Bauer and Tad Johnson
Sun Thisweek
Dakota County Tribune

Dew Days 2016

Farmington Dew Days is offering some new additions to the annual summer festival that is the kickoff to the warmer months’ fun in the south metro.

The new events bring a even more of a focus on activity that is a staple of Dew Days.

The series of events June 13-17 this year demonstrate that Dew Days is less of a spectator sport and more of a way to put oneself right in the middle of the action.

New this year are the two-day Tennis Tournament, the Dew Days Olympics and Safety Zone.

If the hard court racquet sport is your calling, then you will want to register for what’s being billed as the first Tennis Tournament for community members June 16 and 17.

There will be four divisions — Men’s Open Singles, Women’s Open Singles, Boys Singles (18 and under) or Girls Singles (18 and under).

People are encouraged to register as soon as possible by filling out the entrance form at

Dew Days 2015

Participants will receive a free T-shirt for their $20 registration fee, which will benefit the Farmington Area Tennis Association.

Competitions will be held at Boeckman Middle School Tennis Courts & Rambling River Tennis Courts.

The junior divisions will compete on Friday, June 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the adult divisions start Friday at 5 p.m. and will roughly end around Saturday, June 17, at 5 p.m.

Any questions or comments can be sent to tournament director Blake Olmscheid at [email protected].

The Dew Days Olympics will consist of a series of unusual competitions — Jenga, Bean Bags, Washews, Golf Ball Toss and possibly more — for those 18 and older in front of Gossips starting at noon Saturday, June 17.

The first teams of two who register at Gossips starting Monday, June 12, will be accepted into the bracket.

Six teams will rotate in competition against each other and the top team from each group will play for the championship.

For more information, contact Lisa Zarza at (651) 707-5318 or [email protected]

Dew Days 2016

Down around the corner on Oak Street at the same time, there will be plenty of support just in case someone gets hit by a wayward bean bag.

The Safety Zone will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with demonstrations and training on fire, rescue and emergency medical services equipment.

Visitors can learn about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and basic first-aid tips, shoot water at a miniature house, watch a fire hose rolling contest and much more.

The Minnesota Fire Engine Club will have some vintage fire trucks on display, too.

Contact Dan McNulty at 651-343-8706 for more information.

Big events

Traditionally, the best attended events are the Grand Parade, the Car Cruise and the nights of entertainment in and around the Beer Tent.

A perennial favorite, the Grand Parade will have some old favorites and some new exciting entries. A map of the parade route is here.

The parade travels north from the Dakota County Fairgrounds on Third Street, turns east on Spruce Street and returns to the fairgrounds on Fourth Street.

The eighth annual Dew Days Cruise Night will be Friday, June 16.

Lineup begins at 4 p.m. at the Dakota County Fairgrounds where music will be provided by Only Tunes DJ.

The cruise begins at 7 p.m. leaving from the Dakota County Fairgrounds and following the Grand Parade route.

At the end of cruise route through town, the cars will head out of town for a 15-mile scenic cruise and end up back downtown.

Last year, the cars turned north on 12th Street to start the cruise due to construction on Highway 3. The route addition was so well received, the cars will make the same circuit this year. A map of the cruise route is here.

People are strongly encouraged to register ahead of time since day-of registration takes time away from the fun and also puts one in the back of the parade.

A $5 cruise entry fee makes one eligible to win door prizes donated by local business. The event is a fundraiser for CEEF, which helps organize Dew Days.

Register at

For more information contact Bruce Matzdorff at (612) 298-0094 or [email protected].

The Car Cruise and Grand Parade nights are capped off by block parties in downtown.

Friday night’s band is Hitfaced, which the Dweebs will rock the stage near the beer garden on Saturday night.

Hitfaced, which includes Nicole Pratt of Rosemount and Tim Smudge of Farmington, touts itself as playing “hits” from the past 40 years of music.

Using a Billboard magazine inspired logo for Hitfaced, the image accurately reflects their playlist, which includes Top 40 hits from such artists as Journey, Def Leppard and Pink.

It’s an eclectic mix that aims to get everyone a little bit of something to enjoy.

More is at

The Dweebs are a returning act to Dew Days. The group is known for its silly antics along with spot-on covers of some of the most musically challenging songs from the likes of the Beatles, Johnny Cash and Katy Perry.

More is at

Food and more

The centerpiece of the festival weekend is the Art Fair & Business Expo that takes over the downtown sidewalks.

The event allows people to buy a wide variety of local arts, crafts, clothing, books, jewelry, health products and many other items on Friday, June 16, from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Food vendors are sprinkled throughout the fair and expo, as this year Schroeder Concessions, Hickory Hog, Tom Thumb Mini Donut, and Cranston Family Concessions will be serving food.

For those who can’t wait for the weekend, many of the finest foods on can enjoy, for the most part, without a plate can be found at the Flavors of Farmington.

The event allows ticket-holders to free tastes of food and drinks from local businesses.

The feeding frenzy runs from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, under the Big Tent in the Beer Gardens.

Tickets at the door are $8 per person.

If eating food in a dignified way isn’t your style, then there are several contests designed to find out how much food one’s stomach can handle.

New to Dew Days is the Hot Dog Eating Contest on Saturday, June 17, at noon on the downtown stage area. People can stop by and sign up, or cheer on your favorite entrant. Rules will be announced at the contest.

The Pizza Eating Contest has entrants attempting to be the first person to finish an entire pizza starting at 3 p.m. Friday, June 16, on the downtown stage. To register, return completed application by Thursday, June 15, at Space is limited.

People can pit their pie-eating talents against others in a fun-for-all tasty contest Friday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. on the downtown stage.

To register, return completed application by Thursday, June 15, at Space is limited.

Bean bags

People can pit their bean bag-throwing skills against friends and neighbors in the Bean Bag Tournament, or watch and cheer on your favorite team.

The tournament takes place Saturday, June 17, at 1 p.m. in downtown Farmington on Oak Street, across from Anchor Bank.

To sign up beforehand, contact Tim Donnelly at 612-280-3473 or [email protected].

Entry fee before the event is $20, day of $25. Prizes and bragging rights are at stake for the winners.

Bed Races

The Bed Races are scheduled Friday, June 16, at 6 p.m., in downtown Farmington.

Race entrants will speed down Oak Street between Second and Fourth streets with a series of challenges to complete along the way.

This is billed as an exciting and hilarious race with lots of laughs, cheers, and encouragement needed from the audience.

Go to to register with a $25 fee by the deadline of June 12 to avoid a $10 late fee.

Teams are open to all businesses, organizations and neighborhood teams wanting a challenge, but are limited to five persons per team.

Teams must be present at 5 p.m. in front of the Senior Center.

Bingo and more

On Thursday, June 15, at 7 p.m. Bingo will be back by popular demand in the big tent. Those who have their own dauber should bring it. Otherwise, they are available for a refundable $1 deposit.

Rules can be found at:

Contact Maryjo Schmoller at 651-206-2433 or [email protected] for more information.

The Dew Run’s slate of races start at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 17. To register for the half-mile junior jog, mile or 4 mile run, go to: or visit Farmington City Hall. The junior jog costs $4, and the longer runs both cost $20 before June 14 ($25 thereafter).

The Kiddie Parade has been an annual event at Dew Days for years.

The parade includes tots, toddlers and grade school age kids dressed in costumes and decorated in wagons and strollers.

Participants should meet in front of Anchor Bank at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 17, with the parade starting at 10:30 a.m.

The theme this year will be zoo animals.

Immediately after the Kiddie Parade there will be a Puppet Wagon performance when snacks will be provided.

Fishing Contest

On Saturday, June 17, from 9-11 a.m. the Kids Fishing Contest will be held at Prairie View Park Shelter. The contest open to kids from the ages of 0-15. No registration is required.

Prizes and bait are provided, but participants should bring their own fishing pole.

This event runs rain or shine.

Lunch will be provided following the contest at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact email [email protected] or call 612-217-2582.

Rib Cookoff

The Rib Cookoff judging this year will be held Saturday, June 17, with the cooking beginning at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Farmington Independent at 312 Third St. Entry into the cookoff will be limited to the first 12 entrants who have a Dew Days button.

Judging will start at 4 p.m. at the same location. Ribs will be delivered to the cookoff site at 8:30 a.m.

The Grand Prize will be a $300 Bourbon Butcher dinner.

To apply, go online to

Application deadline is Thursday, June 15.


Entering its fourth year is the Softball Tournament on June 17.

The tournament will start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and may run into Sunday, depending on the number of teams fielded.  The tournament be played at Stelzel Fields (corner of Highway 3 and 195th Street West). A men’s and a co-ed bracket is planned and cash prizes will be awarded.

There will also be a Home Run Derby on Saturday afternoon. Individuals are welcome to participate even if one isn’t on a team.

To sign up, go online to or contact Josh Lindgren at 612-210-3652 or [email protected].


In its third year, the Volleyball Tournament will be held Saturday, June 17, at Carbone’s Pizzeria beginning at 8 a.m. The cost per team is $100.

To sign up a team, go online to

Contact Shannon Shirley at (612) 619-8463, [email protected] with additional questions.

Contact Maren Bauer at [email protected].