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Chokecherry Fest was packed with pancakes and other fun

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Posted: Monday, August 15, 2011 12:00 am

The 5th Annual Chokecherry Festival drew bigger crowds and more vendors than past years, officials said.

The Nemont Appreciation Supper 1,000 burger feed went through all 1,000 burgers, plus "two more cases," Vivian Kalmik, a Chokecherry Fest volunteer, said.

Officials said attendance seemed high on both Friday and Saturday, and 43 vendors — well above last year's amount — were set up at Harmon Park, selling everything from wallets to tacos in a bag.

Officials were hoping for at least 100 people to participate in the Chokecherry 5K Run/Walk and Kid's 1-Mile Race Saturday morning, but more than that showed up by race time.

"We had a lot of last-minute registers," Chokecherry Fest organizer Amy Krueger said.

Other highlights of the two-day event included a parade, free ice cream with chokecherry syrup, a free pancake breakfast, musical entertainment and speeches by the Chokecherry Kids, who helped establish the yearly event when they were in grade school and persuaded the North Dakota Legislature to declare the chokecherry as the state fruit.

Kalmik said the population boom was one reason for the increased attendance.

"We have a larger population in our county now," Kalmik said. "And the weather has been decent."

Smiles and laughter were seen throughout the event.

"People are just having a ball," Kalmik said on Saturday.

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