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Chili, snowmobiles and fireworks: Fundraiser for Ocheyedan’s quasquicentennial celebration Saturday

OCHEYEDAN, Iowa — While the motorcycles are nestled in the garage until the spring thaw, snowmobiles reign as the recreational vehicles of choice during the cold, winter months.

The Ocheyedan Catfish Club is giving people a reason to bring out the off-road snowcraft this Saturday with a Snowmobile Poker Run to raise money for this year’s quasquicentennial celebration. One of the event’s organizers and club member, Dustin Glade, said the run will have participants visiting five locations before returning to the Ocheyedan Town Hall for prizes.

Glade added that entrants are welcome from around the area — one does not have to be an Ocheyedan resident to participate. Likewise, individuals don’t necessarily have to have a snowmobile to take part, either. With the National Weather Service calling for a temperature of 4 degrees Fahrenheit for Saturday, that might be a blessing.

“We didn’t know if we were going to have snow when we planned it, because we planned it back in November,” Glade said. “We said any vehicle is welcome. If you want to drive your car in it — you’re welcome. The way the forecast is looking, there may be more people in the car than on the snowmobiles.”

Following the poker run, Glade encourages riders and chili connoisseurs alike to get warm at the chili cook-off and chili feed back at the town hall. Chili dynamos are invited to register their chili from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Glade said the creations will be judged by volunteer tasters from the public.

“We’re having public judges,” Glade began.”So if you want to be a judge, you get a little token and put a token in whoever’s box you like the best. At the end, we’ll just count everybody’s and see who has the most chips.”

For those who aren’t interested in judging but still want a warm bowl of chili or soup, the Catfish Club also has that covered. Glade said the group will make large roasters of mild chili and chicken noodle soup that will be available from 5 to 7 p.m.

All of the money collected from the day’s events will be put toward the cost of fireworks during the town’s 125th celebration Aug. 12-14.

Sign-up for the poker run is at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, with the run taking off at noon. There is a fee, and prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place poker hands.

A registration fee also applies for participants in the chili cook-off. First-, second- and third-place winners will receive prizes. The chili and soup feed is from 5 to 7 p.m. and is open to everyone. A free-will donation will be collected.

“It’s open to anybody that wants to come down,” Glade concluded.

Robin Baumgarn

Robin Baumgarn is a new reporter for the Daily Globe covering the Education and Northwest Iowa beats. Prior to coming to the Globe, she worked for the Ocheyedan Press-Melvin News, a weekly Iowa paper for three years. She is a 2012 graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College and lives in Northwest Iowa with her husband Ryan and three pets, Fidget, Missy and Samwise.

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