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Senior group deals out a Leprechaun Days tradition

The Rosemount Area Seniors host card tournaments as part of Leprechaun Days.

Playing cards is a tradition for Rosemount seniors, and for two days a year it's one they share with the rest of the community.

Rosemount Area Seniors' card tournaments have become a fixture on the Leprechaun Days schedule over the past decade or so. They are held every year on the summer festival's first weekend, and a they provide a chance for the senior group to expand its regular 500 and euchre events.

The seniors will hold a community 500 tournament at 7 p.m. July 20 at the Rosemount Community Center and a euchre tournament at the same time the following night. Sign-up for both tournaments starts at 6:30 p.m.

Rosemount Area Seniors president Darline Lehman said the tournaments have been popular.

"For 500, we've had more than 10 tables, which is more than 40 people," she said. "I think last year we had 11 or 12 tables, which is pretty good."

The seniors typically draw enough players for four tables during their regular Friday euchre games. Lehman hopes to double that on Saturday.

The tournaments draw competitors of all ages. Most are seniors, but there are usually some players in their 20s or 30s, and there is the occasional teenager. Often, several generations in the same family will come out to play.

"A mother and her son and daughter will come, and that's fun because you have that competition," Lehman said.

The only requirements for entry are a $1 fee and a basic knowledge of the games being played. A tournament isn't the time to learn a game, Lehman said.

Some people take the competition more seriously than others.

"You always have some that are serious and strive to win, but you have some who just come for the fun of the evening," said Lehman, who is in charge of the euchre tournament. "We usually serve coffee and have some kind of a treat. It's a night out."

First State Bank of Rosemount sponsors the tournaments and provides money for door prize drawings. The seniors also pay out as prizes all of the money they collect from entry fees.

The tournaments are open to anyone who wants to show up.

"We encourage the public to come," Lehman said. "Where else can you go for a dollar's entertainment?"