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Newport’s annual Pioneer Day celebration draws hundreds of event-goers to Pioneer Park. This year, the get-together is recognizing the city’s 125-year history. It takes place Sunday, Aug. 10. (Bulletin file photo)

Newport Pioneer Day marks city’s 125th year

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Newport Pioneer Day marks city’s 125th year
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It’s almost time for the Newport’s community-wide summer celebration, and the city is gearing up for an anniversary get-together that honors its 125-year history.


The city will hold its annual Pioneer Day event Sunday, Aug. 10. It begins at 11 a.m. with a parade that starts at First Avenue and 17th Street, and heads down Fourth Street to Pioneer Memorial Park.

The celebration will include a balloon artist who will walk Pioneer Park handing out balloon creations for free, an Elvis Presley impersonator, and a raffle with dozens of prizes, including Twins tickets, restaurant gift cards and Pioneer Day apparel.

All-you-can-eat corn on the cob is back on the menu, so long as a 2014 Pioneer Day button is purchased, and the St. Paul Park-Newport Lions Club will host a beer and wine tent.

New to the event this year is the addition of live music from noon to 5 p.m., said Renee Eisenbeisz, Newport executive analyst, who has helped organize the event.

Twin Cities-based Lolo’s Ghost will perform at noon, sharing their self-described soulful rock tunes with audiences. The seven-piece band, led by local musician James Lonely, whose work has been showcased in several Hollywood movies, has played stages across the Twin cities for many years.

Following their performance, Saint Anyway rounds out the afternoon with a show at 2:40 p.m. Described as a “stomp-grass trio” from Duluth, they have released four albums and one extended play since forming in 2007. The bluegrass group also has toured nationally.

Other activities include food vendors, free inflatables sponsored by South Suburban Rental, bingo under the pavilion and the staple car show with classic and modern vehicles.

First-time contestant wins button contest

For the last several years, Eisenbeisz said the city has looked to Newport Elementary School students for Pioneer Day button ideas. And this year, 10-year-old Melanie Cramblit is the winning designer.

“This is my first time entering the button contest and I wanted to do it because I wanted to see if I could win and because I really like coloring,” she said.

The design, Melanie described, is two best friends wearing red T-shirts proclaiming “Newport rocks!”

“I didn’t know that I won the contest until my teacher put my picture up in class one day,” she said. “I thought my friend would win because she’s really good at drawing.”

Her drawing was turned into the 2014 Pioneer Day button, which affords purchasers several perks, including all-you-can-eat corn on the cob and entrance into the raffle.

“I’m pretty proud of her,” Melanie’s mother, Stephanie, said.

If you go: Pioneer Day events

The Newport Pioneer Day festival, celebrating the city’s 125th year, takes place Sunday, Aug. 10 at Pioneer Memorial Park, located at Second Avenue and Sixth Street.

For a complete list of raffle prizes or more information about the event, visit the city of Newport website,

Activities include:

  • Parade at 11 a.m starting at First Avenue and 17th Street, making its way down Fourth Avenue to Pioneer Memorial Park
  • Balloon artist will walk the park grounds from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Live music from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Raffle drawing at 5 p.m. inside the bingo pavillion, individuals do not need to be present to win
  • Elvis Presley impersonator at 5:30 p.m., closing out the day’s events
Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
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