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Buffalo Days is this weekend in Luverne

LUVERNE -- Whether you cruise into town in your collectible car, toss a sun-dried buffalo chip into a toilet or take a trolley ride through the historic homes district, there should be something for everyone at the 27th annual Buffalo Days celebration in Luverne this weekend.

This year's community celebration is poised to be bigger and better than ever, with several new events added to the traditional Buffalo Days weekend. Among them are horse-drawn trolley rides through Luverne's historic district from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce Director Jane Lanphere said the trolley -- the same one that participated in Worthington's King Turkey Day parade last September -- will give visitors rides through the downtown area and include a narration about more than half a dozen of the town's most historic homes.

"It's a free-will offering for the trolley ride," said Lanphere, adding that the trolley will seat approximately 30 people. "We're going to go by seven or eight historic homes, tell about the early founders of Luverne and a bit of history about them."

It isn't known how long the trolley rides will last, but people are welcome to partake in the Buffalo Feed at the Hinkly House and enjoy live music and an ice cream social while they wait. The Hinkly House is hosting the Buffalo Feed this year as a fundraiser for the Rock County Historical Society, Lanphere said.

"It needs a new sidewalk and some decent lighting on the house," she said. Prairie Heights Bison of Luverne is preparing and serving the bison meal.

Lanphere said Sunday's events will revolve around history. In conjunction with the trolley rides, the Hinkly House, Carnegie Cultural Center, Rock County Historical Museum and Rock County Veterans Memorial Building will host open houses and tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Buffalo Days festivities actually begin with the Cruise-In in downtown Luverne from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday. Free vehicle registration is offered for all drivers of collectibles who want to participate in the show on Luverne's Main Street. Last year, more than 275 vehicles were displayed for the event, and organizers are looking for approximately 300 this year. To accompany the cruise-in, food vendors and a beer garden will be open downtown. For the kids, the Luverne Fire Department is once again hosting fire truck ladder rides.

"There's no cost," said Lanphere. "Come and visit with friends and neighbors and have a great time."

On Saturday, activities get under way at 7:30 a.m. with the Buffalo Days Fitness Walk, with the one-half mile run to begin at 7:45 a.m. The 5K and 10K runs will each start at 8:15 a.m. Registration for all of the fitness events will be at the Luverne Area Aquatic and Fitness Center, starting at 7 a.m. Registration forms are available online at

Dad's Belgian Waffles will be served from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Luverne American Legion.

The fourth annual Bike Gathering and parade ride will begin at 9 a.m. at Luverne Kawasaki with free coffee and donuts for the bikers. The group will then participate in the annual Buffalo Days Parade at 10 a.m. down Luverne's Main Street. Lanphere said the parade includes several musical entries this year, including two drum lines and a couple of bands,

More than 100 booths have been reserved by artisans and crafters from around the region for the big Arts in the Park event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Lanphere said there will be many new vendors selling products ranging from beaded jewelry to embroidered purses, homemade pasta products, garden art, fused glass, wood crafts and gourmet cupcakes. A food court will be set up in the park featuring an array of items from local and international cuisine.

A new addition in the park on Saturday will be a local church-sponsored inflatable to keep the children entertained.

Other park events include the buffalo chip throwing contest at 11 a.m., Tae-Kwon-Do and Karate Club demonstrations at noon, the Spotlight Dancers at 1 p.m., and the Buffalo Days Duck Race at 3 p.m.

At noon on Saturday, registration begins at the Howling Dog Saloon for the Buffalo Days Bike Ride. The ride begins at 1 p.m., with a buffalo supper to be served and card games to begin at 6 p.m.

The Luverne Baseball Association will host a two-day tournament Saturday and Sunday, featuring students in grades three through eight. In addition, the Luverne Redbirds are hosting an amateur baseball tournament. Games begin both days at 10 a.m.

Lanphere said she's looking forward to a great weekend in Luverne, and the weather is sounding great with temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

"It will be a fun weekend," she said. "We just can't miss with nice weather."

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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