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Pioneer pride in Newport

Kate Gisselquist, 4, (left) of St. Paul Park enjoys some corn on the cob with Alex McKusky, 4, of Newport. during Pioneer Day. Sunday’s event marked the 125 anniversary of Newport and featured a parade, food vendors, inflatables and bingo under the pavilion. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler) 1 / 7
Jalynn Lund, 7, of Newport gets her face painted by Katelyn Quast at Pioneer Day. Quast was one of several Strawberry Fest ambassadors at the event, which celebrated Newport’s 125th-anniversary. The community celebration featured a parade, food vendors, free inflatables sponsored by South Suburban Rental and bingo under the pavilion. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler) 2 / 7
Jim Melton and Alexa Anderson 15, enjoy Pioneer Day Sunday in Newport. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)3 / 7
Rock and soul band Lolo’s Ghost burn through “Gotta Serve Somebody” by Bob Dylan Sunday during Pioneer Day in Newport. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler) 4 / 7
Pioneer Day, a community celebration that took place Sunday in Newport, featured an appearance by ambassadors from the Strawberry Fest in Cottage Grove. From left, Samantha Anderson, 17, Gracie Reimer, 9 and Sophie Garrick, 10, make an announcement during a break in the set by rock band Lolo’s Ghost. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler) 5 / 7
The annual Pioneer Day celebration in Newport drew crowds from around South Washington County. The community celebration featured a parade, food vendors, free inflatables sponsored by South Suburban Rental, bingo under the pavilion and the staple car show with classic and modern vehicles. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler) 6 / 7
Anthony Bruce, 13, left, and father Scott, check out a model T at the car show during Sunday’s Pioneer Day celebration in Newport. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler) 7 / 7
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Pioneer pride in Newport
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The original pioneers who settled Newport probably didn't have this much fun. They didn't have cotton candy and Elvis impersonators back then.

The city's annual Pioneer Day, which marked the 125th anniversary of Newport, had all that and more. Sunday's event included a parade, food vendors, inflatables and bingo under the pavilion. The weather gave its blessing as visitors from around south Washington County descended on Pioneer Park for some late summer fun.

The Strawberry Fest Ambassadors from neighboring Cottage Grove provided free face-painting.

Jalynn Lund, 7, of Newport, sported a pink and blue butterfly.

“I’ll wear it until I get home,” she said. “Then I’ll take it off.”

For the the grown-ups, there was a beer and wine tent, hosted by the St. Paul Park-Newport Lions Club. The car show, a perennial favorite organized by Newport resident and car enthusiast Chris Vick, featured everything from antique roadsters to classic muscle cars.

Scott Bruce and his son, Anthony, both of Cottage Grove, checked out a green 1971 Ford Torino with ‘hideaway’ headlights. At 13, Anthony is some years away from getting his driver’s license, but Scott said they hope to find a car to restore so Anthony can have some wheels when the time comes.

“We’re going to get him a project car to work on, one of these days,” he said.

The celebration featured live music by rock and soul band Lolo’s Ghost and bluegrass by Saint Anyway, a trio from Duluth. An Elvis impersonator closed the festivities with a 5:30 p.m. performance.

Those who purchased a Pioneer Day button got to feast on the all-you-can-eat corn on the cob buffet.

Newport Executive Analyst Renee Eisenbeisz, who helped organize Pioneer Day, said they sold out of all 600 of their buttons. “The rain held off. I think that kept a lot of people there all day,” she said. “I think people really enjoyed the bands.”

William Loeffler
William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 
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