I was born in Burnsville, Minnesota and grew up for the most part in Apple Valley until I came to St. Cloud to go to school at SCSU in 2009. I love this part of Minnesota and I am happy my kid will always be able to say Sartell is his home... it's a great place to live!

With that being said, folks do things a little differently up here. I mean that in a good way! It has just taken me a few years to learn some of the area's rituals... things I had no idea even existed until I moved here over ten years ago.

PHOTO: Dave Overlund
PHOTO: Dave Overlund
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#1 - TRACTOR PULLS

This one I only learned about fairly recently, actually. The first tractor pull I saw was in Holdingford a couple of summers ago and I immediately wanted to be a part of it!

Someday. Someday.

Since then I have made time for tractor pulls. The events are equal parts funny and competitive and everyone that participates looks like they are having a blast!

Whoever schedules the guy who sits on the back of the trailer and announces stuff needs to send me a job application, please!

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stevenmayatt
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#2 MEAT RAFFLES 

The first time I saw a sign advertising a bar meat raffle, I thought it was the name of a band playing that night. Pretty killer name for a band, really.

It wasn't until someone told me about their winnings one day at work that I finally figured it out. I'd still wear a Meat Raffle tour t-shirt though.

We didn't have these in the cities (at least to my knowledge) but they seem pretty awesome to me. I mean, I like meat.

Sunny Zwilling Memorial Ice Carousel Extravaganza- ICE Fest via Facebook
Sunny Zwilling Memorial Ice Carousel Extravaganza- ICE Fest via Facebook
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#3 ICE CAROUSELS

My buddy and I were heading to a restaurant for dinner one January night when he suddenly thought it would be funny to shut off his headlights and do donuts on Lake Marion. Narrator: It was not funny.

That was the first thing that came to mind when someone told me about a giant ice carousel that was being built. Just spinning on that lake over and over.

Luckily, ice carousels appear to be much safer and much cooler. Check out this world record carousel from last weekend in Little Falls!

Abbey Minke
Abbey Minke
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#4 SWIMMING QUARRIES 

There was an old gravel pit in Apple Valley called Lac Lavon. In order to get to the lake you had to walk down a giant hill that was harder still to climb back up. I remember there were rumors in middle school about it being "120 feet deep." Suffice to say, no one ever thought about swimming in there.

If we wanted to go swimming we would go to Crystal Lake or the municipal pool, not a quarry.

Here in St. Cloud the quarries provide an awesome spot to spend a summer day swimming. Along with Munsinger/Clemens Gardens, this is my favorite spot in town.

Abbey Minke
Abbey Minke
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#5 SEASONAL DAIRY QUEENS 

When you need a Dilly Bar, you need a Dilly Bar. It doesn't matter if its December or July. The DQ's where I grew up were open all year round.

I told someone that I was heading to DQ once years ago one January and they politely told me they were 'closed.' I looked at my watch and it was 2:30 p.m. so I thought that was odd and asked when they would be opening, figuring that they would say 5 p.m. for dinner or whatever.

"They will probably open in March," they said. That's when the twitching started for me.

It sounds like the Red Barn on Highway 10 will be open all year when they finish their renovations.

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