Horses, kites and a stomping good time: Festivals close out summer with a little fun

WINDOM -- Summer days may be drifting away, but there are still plenty of festivities to get people outside and enjoying the lovely Minnesota weather.

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This photo, taken during the 2014 Fort Belmont Pioneer Days, shows Ken Kruse demonstrating his blacksmithing skills for attendees. Daily Globe file photo

WINDOM - Summer days may be drifting away, but there are still plenty of festivities to get people outside and enjoying the lovely Minnesota weather.

Festivals and activities are planned throughout the region this weekend, from Pioneer Days at Jackson’s Fort Belmont to the first-ever Grape Stomp at Round Lake Vineyards. Also on tap is the Prairie Winds Kite Fly at the Jackson Municipal Airport, a Kids Rodeo and Fall Festival at Reinbows in Windom, and the annual Autumn Boutique at the Murray County Fairgrounds in Slayton.
Information about each of the events follows:
Horsin’ around in Windom
Reinbows Inc., a nonprofit organization that uses horses to help bring joy to the lives of children and seniors, will host its fifth annual fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Reinbows, 43341 480th Ave., Windom.
Damon Weinandt, administrative/program director, said its Kids Rodeo and Fall Festival helps raise funds for program and operational costs throughout the year. Reinbows offers life skills programs each summer, as well as summer horse camps and day camps. This year, it conducted some Girl Scout leadership programs.
Reinbows has seven horses - six Norwegian Fjords and one paint - that are trained to work with program participants.
Some of the participants will showcase what they learned with the horses this summer by presenting a horse riding exhibition from 11 a.m. to noon, while the Kids Rodeo events are from 1 to 3 p.m.

“We’ll have stick horse barrel races, where kids make their own stick horse with their family and race them around a track and chase the rodeo clown,” Weinandt said.
The rodeo will also feature potato sack races, mutton busting, pig tag and tug of war. Registration for mutton busting will be limited to 24 children. Trophies for each event will be awarded to the winners.
Other activities throughout the day include pony rides, a petting zoo, carriage rides and carnival games. Concessions will also be offered.
The day concludes with pumpkin chunkin’ from 3 to 4 p.m., followed by a Reinbows rockets finale during which model rockets are launched.
There is an admission fee, with one price for families and another for individuals. For more information, visit
Colorful skies over Jackson
The skies over the Jackson Municipal Airport will come alive with color during the Prairie Ecology Bus Center’s 13th annual Prairie Winds Kite Fly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Professional kite fliers from six Midwestern states will be on hand to showcase a variety of colorful kites.
New this year, the event will feature the world’s largest Parafoil kite. The kite spans more than 2,000 square feet of flying surface area, and it takes a six-man crew to launch it and return it to the ground.
Chrystal Dunker, executive director of the PEBC, said several new fliers from Wisconsin will participate in the kite fly, and lots of new kites will be featured at the event, which is free to the public. The open space at the airport, 54498 800th St., Jackson, will provide lots of room for kite flying, and attendees are welcome to bring their own kites or make one or buy one onsite.
“We designate a family flying area where kids can fly their kites; and we have a pro-flying field designated for the big show kites,” Dunker said.
Throughout the day, visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt on the grounds, which encourages visiting with the people who are demonstrating the large show kites. In addition, the Prairie Ecology Bus will be on the grounds, offering a variety of activities.
Inside the airport hangar will be a display of show kites - from the handpainted to the very old - for visitors to admire.
Admission to the Prairie Winds Kite Fly is free, and a light wind is in the forecast for Saturday.
Great day for a Grape Stomp
Round Lake Vineyards & Winery will host its first-ever Grape Stomp and Grape Harvest festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the vineyard, 30124 Minnesota 264, Round Lake.
Registrations are being accepted online at for two-person teams to participate in the grape stomp competition. Registrations will also be taken from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the vineyard.
Diane Larson said teams will compete in three categories - grape stomping, best team name and best team costume. The stomp will be done in tag-team fashion, with one person stomping the grapes while the other works to push the juice into a container.
There will be several rounds, with winners advancing from each until an overall winner is determined. The finals are anticipated to be at approximately 7 p.m.
Throughout the day, vendors and food booths will be set up on site, with 32 vendors already registered. Larson said vendors may still sign up before 5 p.m. Friday. There is no charge, though vendors must bring their own tables and chairs.
Live music is offered throughout the day, with Fishin’ for Olives performing from noon to 4 p.m. and Jim Wuerffel from 5 to 9 p.m.
The Grape Harvest festival is free. However, there is a registration fee for teams participating in the grape stomp.
Step back in time
Fort Belmont’s annual Pioneer Days celebration features an 1840s Buckskinner Camp with traders and vendors, demonstrations of blacksmithing, butter churning, lefse making, weaving, hawk and knife throwing and pioneer games.
The fort, located west of the Kemna-Asa dealership and just south of Interstate 90 in Jackson, will also be open for guided tours, horse-drawn wagon rides and a scavenger hunt. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The Minnesota Raptor Center will present programs on owls, falcons, hawks and bald eagles at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors are asked to bring lawn chairs or blankets to view the program.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase both days. There is no admission fee to attend, although donations are accepted.
Autumn Boutique
More than 90 exhibitors will offer everything from seasonal and home decor to clothing, jewelry and furniture during the Slayton Women of Today’s annual Autumn Boutique. The event is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Murray County Fairgrounds, Slayton.
The Women of Today manage a food stand both days, with funds raised to support organizations and individuals in the community.
Admission and parking are free.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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