Pouring out the carpetWith the Independence Day parades past, most Carlton County towns have a lull in the celebratory action, a span in which the thousands don’t take to the streets — but not Moose Lake.
By: Luke Heine, Pine Journal
With the Independence Day parades past, most Carlton County towns have a lull in the celebratory action, a span in which the thousands don’t take to the streets — but not Moose Lake.
Last weekend, Moose Lake hosted the 44th Annual Agate Days Festival, an event that sparkled with rock vendors, weekend vacationers and rock enthusiasts.
Offering steak dinners and vendors selling everything from Saharan fossils to stalagmites, the Agate Days Festival encompassed the entire weekend. The crown jewel, however, was definitely the Agate Stampede.
Brandishing plastic pails and garden forks, sporting garden gloves and their “agate faces,” between 3,000 and 4,000 people of all ages lined Moose Lake’s Elm Avenue for the annual Agate Stampede, said Moose Lake Chamber of Commerce member Veronica Fenice.
Part Running of the Bulls, part intrusive geology, the prelude of the stampede began Saturday with dump trucks carpeting Elm Avenue with a goulash of gray rocks, sandstone, 400 pounds of agates, and 1,600 quarters. With some imagination, one could imagine the rattle of rocks pouring over Elm Avenue — much like hot frosting over a cake — as a crescendo for what ensued.
In the contrasting silence, hands wrung and participants whispered to one another, pointing to protrusions in the dumping they hoped housed agates. Suddenly, a cannon shot fired. The wispy restraining tape that lined the street instantly snapped, and the human flood walls broke. Feet swept across the asphalt and then crashed into the stone piles.
Although a faulty dump truck gate latch resulted in a few bare patches in the dumping and a block-length of street went uncovered by rock, few participants left empty-handed as evidenced by the thousands of smiles and heavy pails.
While most towns could now expect a lull in the celebratory action, surely such an event deserves some “R&R.”
Not Moose Lake.
This weekend, Moose Lake will again host an event, an antique car show.
“It’s going to be great,” said Fenice.