Friday, May 30, 2008

Congratulations, Class of 2008: We'll Never Forget You

Congratulations to the Loonfoot Falls seniors who form the graduating class of 2008. After the graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. tonight in the High School gym, this class will make their mark in the world, as they have already made their mark in Loonfoot High School.

This class is outstanding in academics, art, and athletics. But, more importantly, they are good people and fine citizens. Thanks to their efforts, the back wall of Loonfoot High’s auto shop has been completely repaired. The leaders, movers, and doers of the Class of 2008 made the 2007-2008 school year a memorable and exciting year for everyone who knew and worked with them.

The Loonfoot Falls School District has a long tradition of naming its buildings and sites after presidents: from the old Arthur Athletic Field, to Polk Middle School. This tradition continues, as Loonfoot Falls prepares to open an expanded high school building next fall.

After appealing to the public for a name, the Loonfoot Falls School Board asked elementary students who had participated in History Week for ideas. There were two rules: the president had to be deceased, and the name could not have been used before in the Loonfoot School District.

Loonfoot Falls’ young scholars provided four names: James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, John F. Kennedy, and Herbert Hoover. Students in grades five through 12 voted, and selected John F. Kennedy.

Shop instructor Einar Johnson expects to make a full recovery, and plans to return to teaching next year.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Annual Duck Races Expected to Draw Hundreds

The 23rd Annual Memorial Day Loonfoot Falls Duck Race is a colorful tradition in this small Minnesota town. Dapper ducks, hand-picked from the banks of the Loonfoot River, will compete for nothing but the glory of their handlers, the love of sport, and a sincere desire to leave Railroad Park, near downtown Loonfoot Falls.

Why would anyone go to the trouble of catching a duck, just to release it in the middle of a chalk circle in Railroad Park? That's the question that people asked Arne Aagaard, whose brainchild the Duck Race is.

Aside from the honor of having one’s name put in the Duck Race Book of Fame, the handler of the fastest duck wins gift certificates worth a total of over $100, redeemable for valuable merchandise at Loonfoot Falls merchants for items including: Bag Balm®, collapsible tree stands; levamisole phosphate; snowmobile skid plates; Bert’s Best Buffalo Jerky; and hand-polished decoys from Dewey's Duck Deck.

For the more intellectually inclined, Loonfoot Falls Memorial Day celebrations include a Name That Loon contest. Identifying individual recorded loon calls is harder than it seems, as novice loon listeners soon learn.

"It's a hoot," said Arne Aagaard, asked what he thought of the race he started nearly a quarter-century ago. "The great thing is, everyone wins. The ducks get a free meal or two, and go back to Mosquito Flats. Anyone who enters a duck gets a certificate, someone gets that bunch of certificates, and stores in town get a little extra business."

- Jon Wolner, Loonfoot Falls Chronicle-Gazette
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