A crowd lingered on the docks in Barwick until well past 7 p.m. Saturday as the third-annual Chapple Days festivities drew to a close.
“It was a wonderful day,” Rilla Race, chairperson of the Chapple heritage committee, concluded Monday.
She estimated this year’s event attracted more than 200 people, including 180 who sat down for a fish fry supper Saturday evening.
“We’ve been very pleased with how it’s been coming along. Every year it’s growing a little bit as word gets out,” Race remarked.
Activities actually kicked off Friday night with a good crowd on hand for old-fashioned hay threshing and butter churning at the Both Farm, along with a community wiener roast.
Wagon rides around Barwick were on the agenda for Saturday, as well as free pontoon boat rides along the Rainy River courtesy of Glen Jackson and Pinewood Sports and Marine.
There also were children’s races Saturday afternoon, along with live music in the park and at St. Paul’s Heritage Place, and a silent auction featuring everything from toys to baked goods.
The International Early Iron Club also took the opportunity to display a wide variety of antique cars throughout the afternoon.
Saturday’s lineup of outdoor events culminated with the annual canoe race down the Rainy River from Manitou Rapids to the Barwick docks. By late afternoon, a large crowd had gathered on the docks to cheer on the competitors.
This year, 17 teams entered the race, with David Harrington and Devin Arenz of Bemidji Mn. taking home the trophy and a $500 cash prize.
“We’ve never paddled together until last night,” Harrington said following the race.
The duo noted Saturday’s wind made the race more difficult than expected. “It was easier getting up river than it was going back, which doesn’t make any sense,” Harrington said.
Still, the two were able to pull ahead of the rest of the competitors, leaving a flotilla of paddlers in their wake as they crossed the finish line in a time of 33:47.
Last year’s winners, Wayne Both of Barwick and Ted Heyens of Stratton, took second place this time around while Tom and Alex Anderson of Stratton came in third.
Race noted only one activity scheduled for the day didn’t take place—a horseshoe challenge between the reeves of Barwick and Emo.
“Because of the lateness of the canoe race and the supper starting, there wasn’t time for it,” she explained. “Another year, another time they’ll face off.”
The events were run almost entirely by volunteers, Race noted, allowing all proceeds—which were undetermined as of yet—to go towards the Barwick museum.
“The idea is to raise some money to help with [the] cost of operating the museum but basically it’s just a fun community day,” she said.