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Chili cook-off and family bingo night will raise funds for Leprechaun Days

Last year’s Halfway to Leprechaun Days chili cook-off brought in some new volunteers. Organizers hope this year’s event will do the same. (File photo by Matt Steichen)

With windchills dropping below zero last week and snow still on the ground, your mind is probably not on Leprechaun Days, but Steve Ball's is. The Rosemount Leprechaun Days event organizer has been busy planning a Halfway to Leprechaun Days chili cook-off and bingo night to raise funds for the 10-day community festival that takes place in July.

Ball said the fundraiser, which is slated for 4:30-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Rosemount American Legion, is a way to remind people that the planning committee is still there.

"We're doing it to get out into the public and say we're alive and well here," Ball said.

Aside from selling hot dogs and brats outside Cub Foods and staffing a hot dog and hamburger stand during Leprechaun Days, this is the only fundraiser the all-volunteer event committee holds.

Ball said this year's chili cook-off will be more family-friendly than last year's, incorporating family bingo, at a cost of $5 for eight games, and a DJ. For a $5 cover charge, adults 21 and older can drink free beer while supplies last. Kids get in the door for free. There will be door prizes for attendees 18 and older.

"We had a briefing and decided we need to pull the families in," Ball said. "You gotta have kids there."

Patrons can play bingo from 5-6:30 p.m. and sample chili from 6:30-9 p.m. Leprechaun Days T-shirts will be available for purchase, and the committee will make an official announcement about which bands will perform at this summer's festival.

Ball said last year's chili cook-off brought in a few new volunteers, and he hopes this year's event will do the same.

"We're looking for more of the younger generation to get on board. We're always looking (for) new ideas," he said.

Rosemount High School Principal John Wollersheim, Rosemount Cub Foods manager Brett Lein, and a third judge, who is yet to be determined, will formally judge the chili entries in both a mild and spicy category at 7 p.m. Spectators will determine who goes home with the People's Choice Award. All winners will receive a prize. Entry is free.

For information or to register for the chili cook-off, contact Steve Ball at 651-492-9411 or balldome@me.com. This year's Leprechaun Days will run from July 21-30. The Rosemount American Legion is located at 14590 Burma Ave. W.

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