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Cool weather, but plenty of fun at Leprechaun Days

A gray and rainy Saturday and cooler than normal temperatures all week long couldn't put a damper on Rosemount's Leprechaun Days celebration.

Attendance was strong at events throughout the week, and Leprechaun Days committee president Diane Wellman said numbers were particularly strong at events intended for children. Last year's kiddie parade drew just 10 kids, Wellman said. This year's, held in a new location, featured 63 units. Attendance at a kids' dance grew from 120 last year to 180 this year.

Overall, Wellman estimated attendance was up 25 percent at kids' events.

"All the events were up so much," she said. "It was just wonderful."

The Leprechaun Days committee brought in popular Twin Cities country band Rocket Club to play Thursday night as part of an ongoing attempt to boost activity on that night. Wellman said attendance was about double what it was for Thursday night last year.

Attendance was also strong at Tuesday night's bathtub races, which featured an appearance from KARE-11 sports anchor Eric Perkins and a team made up of University of Minnesota football players. The event, held in conjunction with the One Rosemount Feeding Families project, raised about half of the $26,000 that group needs to finish its efforts to send food to Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.

The One Rosemount group filled 12,300 water balloons for the event and sold all of them.

Attendance was strong pretty much throughout the week.

"I know quite a few events that gave away food ran out early this year," Wellman said. "I don't know if that was the weather and everyone was eating more. The drink sales were down. Our water sales were light this year."

There wasn't much call for water on Saturday. Rain fell on the Grand Day parade, and continued off and on throughout the day.

The weather seemed to keep crowds away during the day, but people still came out for Saturday night's band and the evening's fireworks show. The line to buy a pork chop on a stick was long even when the rain was falling hard, and one vendor took advantage of the weather by selling hand warmers.

"I was surprised to see how many people were walking by with ice cream or Aloha Ice," Wellman said. "That wouldn't have been my first choice."

Overall, Wellman was thrilled with the way things went in her first year as Leprechaun Days president.

"(In previous years) I had been to a lot of the different events ... but I was so focused on my own stuff," she said. "This year I took the time off and I went to the majority of the events around town. It was so much fun."

To see a gallery of photos from Leprechaun Days, go here.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606