It’s time for Huff n’ Puff Days

Lake Elmo Mayor Mike Pearson beats the throw at first base during last year’s city of Lake Elmo vs. Lake Elmo Jaycees highlight game at Huff n’ Puff Days. (Linda Baumeister/file photo)
Lake Elmo Mayor Mike Pearson beats the throw at first base during last year’s city of Lake Elmo vs. Lake Elmo Jaycees highlight game at Huff n’ Puff Days. (Linda Baumeister/file photo)
Henry winds up for the ball toss to pop balloons last summer during Huff n’ Puff Days. Kids activities were expanded at last year’s event and will continue this year Saturday, Aug. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. (Linda Baumeister/file photo)
Henry winds up for the ball toss to pop balloons last summer during Huff n’ Puff Days. Kids activities were expanded at last year’s event and will continue this year Saturday, Aug. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. (Linda Baumeister/file photo)

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year already, but the dog days of summer are upon us and a favorite time-honored tradition in Lake Elmo is right around the corner.

The Lake Elmo Jaycees are gearing up to put the “fun” back in their fundraising efforts again this year for the 39th annual Huff n’ Puff Days Aug. 6-9. The four-day event is the service organization’s primary fundraiser for the year.

The Lake Elmo Jaycees is a leadership development organization for people ages 18-40 in the St. Croix Valley area. The group’s volunteers put in hundreds of hours each year to benefit the community through special projects and events.

Friendly competition

Lions Park in Lake Elmo, 3535 Laverne Ave., will once again be home for four-days of fun during Huff n’ Puff Days.

Festivities kick off Thursday, Aug. 6, at 5:30 p.m. with the start of the 96-team softball tournament. There are 64 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams made up of players from communities from across the metro. Most games will take place at the fields in Lions Park, although a few will be located at other nearby ballfields. The games will continue Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday.

After a two-year resurgence, the “City vs. Jaycees” softball game will take a breather this year. The 96-team roster was filled before the city assembled a team in time to register.

“I think what happened is [the Jaycees] beat us the last two years, but they saw our line up this year, and kind of figured their streak may be over,” Mayor Mike Pearson quipped. “Well we’re onto them. I will be out scouting for a new team for next year,” he added with a smile.

More than a softball tourney

Many of Huff n’ Puff’s popular traditions will return this year, along with a few new ones.

A medallion hunt will again be part of the 2015 event. The fist clue will be published Sunday, Aug. 2 at noon. Clues will appear on the Huff n’ Puff and Lake Elmo Jaycees Facebook pages, and at www.lakeelmojaycees.org.

Daily clues will continue to be posted until the medallion is found. The medallion will be hidden somewhere on Lake Elmo public property. No purchase is necessary to participate in the hunt, and a $100 cash prize awaits the finder.

There will also be a number of free drawings for prizes by local businesses over the four-day festival. Visit the ticket booth in Lions Park for an entry slip.

Food vendors will be onsite selling burgers, hotdogs, brats, hot beef sandwiches and other foods at the park, and a trailer will be nearby selling ice-cold beer.

Stillwater’s Lift Bridge Brewing Co. will also be in the park this year selling some of its specialty craft beers. Concessions will be open Thursday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Friday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight; Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A pancake fundraiser will also take place Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. The pancake breakfast is a fundraising event hosted by the Lake Elmo Fire Department and will be held at Station No. 1 across from Lions Park.

Kids activities

Huff n’ Puff offers entertainment for people of all ages, and there will be plenty of activities to get the kids excited.

Huff n’ Puff chairperson Heather Noyes says more children’s activities were added last year, and they were such a success organizers decided to bring them back again this year.

The Children’s Fun Day is a free event that will take place in the playground area at the park Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m.

Local vendors will be bringing in a variety of kids carnival games, a Games2U video game truck, as well as other activities and prizes on Saturday. Free snow cones will also be available along with games and crafts provided by the Lake Elmo Library. Noyes says there will be a few other activities as well.

“I’m anxious to see what other surprises will be in store,” she says.

For more information about Huff n’ Puff Days events visit www.lakeelmojaycess.org or www.facebook.com/huffnpuffdays.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7822.

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