42nd annual Huff n’ Puff Days swings into town


file photo • During the 2017 Lake Elmo Huff n’ Puff weekend, the Lake Elmo Fire Department hosted an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast complete with sausage patties, orange juice and coffee. A pancake breakfast will be offered again this year on Sunday, Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to noon at Fire Station No. 1, across from Lions Park.

file photo • The four-day Huff n’ Puff Days softball tournament, which includes 64 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams, will be held Thursday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 12, at Lake Elmo’s Lions Park and a variety of other area softball fields. As of press time, there were still openings for a few additional men’s teams to sign up.

Lake Elmo is the place to be Aug. 9 to 12 for the annual Huff n’ Puff Days, which includes a four-day softball tournament, medallion hunt, pancake breakfast, children’s games and more. 

The family-friendly softball fundraiser, organized by the Lake Elmo Jaycees, has been a community favorite for the past 41 years, and although this year will be much the same as previous years, there are a few new features worth noting: The winner of the medallion hunt will receive $200, double the prize of previous years; the concession stand will offer nachos; and an ATM will be available on-site.

As always, the money raised by the event will go to benefit community and youth activities in the St. Croix Valley area.

Lake Elmo Jaycee Emily Goldhammer explained that members of the Lake Elmo Jaycees, an all-volunteer leadership development organization, agreed that their favorite part of Huff n’ Puff Days “is being out in the community that we love and seeing all of the people there.”

She explained that people come from all over Minnesota to watch and participate in the events, and some even come from out of state.

“Another favorite part is hearing all of the wonderful memories people have from this event going back to its first year,” Goldhammer said. “It’s so heartwarming to hear how many families have made participating in Huff n’ Puff a tradition, passing down their love for the event from one generation to the next.”

 

Softball

The four-day softball tournament, which includes 64 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams, will occur Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. The schedule and brackets will be posted at Lions Park throughout the tournament.

Lions Park, 3525 Laverne Ave. N., Lake Elmo, will be the main location for the tournament and other Huff n’ Puff activities, although several other ball fields will be used for games as well. 

Additional fields include those at The Royal Club, formerly Tartan Park, 1653 Lake Elmo Ave. N., Lake Elmo; VFW Field, 3675 Layton Ave. N., Lake Elmo; Lily Lake, 1208 S. Greeley St., Stillwater; and Jaycees Field at County Road 12 and Deer Path in Stillwater.

According to Goldhammer, as of press time there were still a few openings for men’s softball teams to sign up, and although the women’s division is full, there is a waiting list.

To register or get on the waiting list, visit www.lakeelmojaycees.org and fill out the registration form found under the “Huff n’ Puff Days” tab. Then mail the completed form and the $200 entry fee to Tournament Director Chad Carlson, whose contact information is listed on the website.

 

Medallion hunt

Although softball is the main event at Huff n’ Puff Days, there are still plenty of other activities to keep everyone entertained, such as the Medallion Hunt, which offers a chance to win $200. 

A specially decorated 2018 Huff n’ Puff button will be hidden in Lake Elmo for the free Medallion Hunt, which will begin Sunday, Aug. 5, when the first clue is released, and run until the medallion is found.

Medallion Hunt clues will be posted around noon each day on the Lake Elmo Jaycees website, the Lake Elmo Jaycees Facebook page and the Huff n’ Puff Days Facebook page.

This year’s $200 prize is double what has been offered in previous years, which Goldhammer said was due to a mishap at last year’s event.

“Last year, the medallion was hidden under a bench in a park,” she said. “Sadly, it was dislodged and, thus, disappeared from under the bench after that area was mowed and cleaned up by park maintenance.”

She added that because last year’s prize went unclaimed, the Jaycees opted to hold onto the money and add it to the 2018 prize. However, to be eligible for that $200 prize, the finder must be registered, and if the finder is not registered, he or she will only be awarded the $100 prize.

To register, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/3FCT7PN, and for official rules, visit www.lakeelmojaycees.org.

 

Food

Typically, no outside food or beverages are allowed at Huff n’ Puff events, though no one is expected to go hungry. The Lake Elmo Jaycees provide concessions at a stand located in Lions Park. 

In addition to cold beverages, concessions will include brats, hotdogs, walking tacos, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and hot beef sandwiches. Also, for the first time, the concessions has added nachos to its list of offerings.

The concession stand, which also sells apparel, will be open Thursday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., Friday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For those who prefer breakfast food in the morning, a pancake breakfast will be offered Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

The pancake breakfast, a fundraising event for the Lake Elmo Fire Department Relief Fund, will be held at Lake Elmo Fire Station No. 1, which is located across the street from Lions Park. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children. 

 

Other activities

Free entry slips will be available at the ticket booth for the various prize drawings that will be offered throughout the four-day event.

Also, free kids games and activities will be held Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at the playground area of Lions Park. 

Families won’t want to miss the Mad Science show beginning at 1 p.m., which was brought back to Huff n’ Puff Days by popular demand. This year’s show is on making your own slime.

Other kids activities will include arts and crafts, a coloring contest and a chance to win prizes.

For more information about any Huff n’ Puff event, visit www.lakeelmojaycees.org.

 

– Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com

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