PPD is A-OK
The bulk of the 2011 Prairie Pioneer Days events kicked off Saturday, starting with the Walk-Run bright and early on a warm and muggy morning and ending with fireworks at dusk.
In between, people packed East Side Park and other venues around Morris to take advantage of the nice weather, food and fun.
It was high athletic-eating drama at the 4th annual Bello Cucina Pasta Eating Contest, where James Burke upset two-time defending champion Vaughn Dieter in the 13-17 year old category. Burke downed 2 pounds, 10 ounces of pasta to edge Dieter, who wolfed 2 pounds, 6 ounces.
In the 18-older category, Mitch Primus won for a third consecutive year, packing in 2 pounds, 11 ounces. In a side competition, Miss Midwest Rachel Sands defeated Morris Mayor Sheldon Giese, and Sands didn't even stain her sash.
Kora Hoversten cleaned up 1 pound, 1 ounce of pasta to win the 12-under category.
It was tough searching in the annual Willie's Medallion Hunt at Pomme de Terre Park. But with a few helpful hints from Paul Martin, Shayla Kill, 10, Sydney Peterson, 7, and Abby Solemsaas, 3, found the medallions in their age groups.
And on Saturday morning, Zeus ruled. As in Zeus, the top dog in the Working Dog group in the PPD Dog Show. Zeus won Best in Show. Venus, the winner of the Hounds group, was No. 2 in Best in Show, and Teddy, the Toys winner, was No. 3 overall.
Sunday's events include the Pancake Feed at the Morris Fire Hall, a car show at the Aaron Carlson parking lot, events all day at East Side Park, and the Grand Parade beginning at 3 p.m.