Tag Archives: festival

Cow Pie Bingo and Late for School (plus a rainbow)

Every town has a summer festival of some sort right? Well our little town didn’t, until three years ago when a committee formed a new annual celebration, and held a contest to name it. So the Irish Spudfest was born. It’s pretty much perfect. Family focus, low-cost, simple and “villagey.” We kicked it off by conquering the 1 mile walk as a family. The girls ran the last quarter-mile or so, because they decided it was a race. Kayla had an injury (blister from those new Nikes) and convinced me to give her a lift on my back.

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Following the big race/walk (some ambitious/silly people actually ran a 5k), there was lawn mower bingo for the kiddos (and at least one adult–more on that later), the big tater dig in the community garden, a spud-themed parade, kick ball and bean bag tournaments, inflatables, vendors a silent auction, a dunk tank, fresh-cut fries and sweet corn, a big community picnic (tater salad), and dancing to the harder-than-expected rock of the Neo Johnsons. Did I forget anything?.. Of course–the Cow Pie Bingo. We bought square E11, to no avail.

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Today was day 1 of the 2009-2010 school year her in Montrose. And we were late. It’s a long story–something about hair pieces in the wrong spot, a calculator and the ‘meanest parents in the world.’ Nice way to kick things off.  The big deal this year is Hope moved to another building, so Mesa is on her own in the first grade. Zoey is kickin it at the daycare as the “biggest kid” (oldest) around. Despite the rough start, Mesa said the first day was ‘fabulous.’

As a parting gift, here’s a panoramic shot of the full rainbow we saw one evening this past week. I used some software that came with our Canon camera to stitch three photos together. I am not a pro.

rainbow panorama

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Posted by on August 24, 2009 in Celebrations, Family, Food, garden, Weather


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The Bartblog Challenge (make ’em proud Montrose)

I was at a conference on the future of Rural communities last week in Sioux Falls, where I co-hosted a session with a friend of mine. The session went pretty well, and it was in large part because my pal Jerry came up with a really powerful question for the crowd to dialogue on. He asked “What will our grandchildren praise us for having started today?”

I’ve been thinking about that question a while now, and how it relates to my own life. One of the things I hope our grandchildren are proud of one day is the Montrose Area Foundation. OK, so this sounds like a shameless plug. Because it is. But, I really feel it’s that important for our little village. Montrose has made a big turnaround over the past several years while taking part in the Horizons program. It’s made a difference because so many people have pitched in to keep the momentum and excitement going (thank you for that, y’all). What kind of excitement? People are jacked about the idea that we can create our own future here–we don’t have to sit back and let our little town and our rural way of life disappear if we don’t want to.

There are all kinds of good projects going on, and we’ve been blessed with a little funding to pay for them  (thanks, Northwest Area Foundation). The Montrose Area Foundation provides a way for all of us to pitch in what we can to be sure neat little projects can take place in our community every year. Forever. It’s much like a savings account for our community. We all put in some money, that money gets invested on our behalf by the smart folks at SD Community Foundation, and we use the interest we gain to make small grants to worthy causes each year. The grants will always be selected by a group of local volunteers, and will always be used for good projects in and around Montrose. Our money, our decisions, our future.

Let me say that again: every single dollar you put in will make a difference for Montrose’s grandchildren, and their grandchildren. It’s a pretty sweet project.

So, we (I am on the founding board of the Foundation) are in the middle of a funding campaign for the Foundation. Our courageous goal is to raise $100,000. If we hit that goal, the SDCF will give us a matching grant of another $25,000. So, we’d then have $125,000 and counting in our account, which would turn into more than $6,000 in local grants every year, and grow from there.

We’ll have a booth at the Irish SpudFest this weekend. If you’re in town, please stop by and make a donation. If you won’t be here for the big community bash, that’s OK. You can send a check or make a pledge over time. You could even donate a wagon of corn, some land, a house or car, or include the Montrose Area Foundation in your will. All the usual ways to leave something behind for the next generations.

You can mail a check or make a pledge to:

Montrose Area Foundation
PO Box 182
Montrose, SD 57048

If you have any questions, just shoot me an email and I’ll get you the details. By the way, this isn’t about asking everyone for big bucks. Just give whatever you can, wether that’s twenty bucks or twenty thousand. Every dollar counts. In fact, Jaim and I have been saving up for this. We’d like to challenge you to make a donation. Every dollar that goes to the Montrose Area Foundation between now and the end of 2009 from Bartblog readers will be matched by us, up to $1000. You heard me.

So, here’s your chance to make me give away some money. It’s simple:

  1. Make a donation or pledge to the Foundation before December 31, 2009
  2. Email me to let me know how much you’ve pledged or donated
  3. Jaimie and I match it up to a total of $1000 (maybe more if others want to play too)
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in Celebrations, etc., money, Montrose


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Tasting Dorset and a Hike

Part 2 of the Up North Bartmann Family Gathering report.

The first full day everyone was together we hit a festival just a couple miles down the road called Taste of Dorset. We could sample great food from about ten different places, drink $1 beers, partake in minnow races, and try frozen monkey tails. One of those small town things on a highway, with no roadblocks… Good times.

That evening, we hit the Heartland Trail for a family hike at sundown. The highlight: bats.

More to come.

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Posted by on August 15, 2009 in Family, Food, hiking, Travel


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Dancing in the Circle

We hit the First Night festival on Wednesday afternoon and evening in Sioux Falls. It’s a tradition for us–in fact I was on teh committee that helped Shannon Barnes start First Night several years ago. It’s a cool family celebration of the new year. The kids made turtle art, danced with Phil Baker, and really enjoyed a dance performance by Dance Gallery. (Mesa is convinced she must enroll in some classes now.) I enjoyed another really cool and unique performance called Constellation, but the little ones got a bit scared of the star god.

turtle art project dancing

The sad news is I further confirmed that I am getting old by falling asleep by 11pm. Here’s a video of Zoey and Mesa “Dancing in the Circle” with Phil.

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Posted by on January 2, 2009 in Celebrations, crafts, Family


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Not sure if that’s a word, but that’s what the girls and I did yesterday. We took in the Downtown Harvest Festival in Sioux Falls. It was good times. Here’s a quick pictorial report (more on Flickr):

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Posted by on September 28, 2008 in Celebrations, Kids


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Spud Fest and Critters

Our little village turned into one big community party on Saturday. The second annual Irish Spud Fest was a ton ‘o fun. Sometimes these things get a bit lame, but we had a great day. Five thumbs up from the house on the hill.

It all started at 8am, where Jaimie finished the 5K in her best time ever. She says she beat her little sister, but Jenna is calling b.s. We’ll never know.

the competitors. after a shower.

the competitors. after a shower.

The girls rode in a barrel train in the parade (sponsored by Grandpa Denny), jumped for hours on the big inflatables in the park, covered thier bodies in temp tattoos, downed some leprechaun floats (that’d be lime green sherbet with Sprite), cheered on aunty Sarah in the kickball tournament (she dominates), and watch a cow poop on a square (cow pie bingo–ok, so it was a little lame). We had supper at the kind-of-irish beef and potato picnic, followed by some jamming out to a very amateur band (Grandpa Pat and all the girls loved them).

Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers. It was good small town stuff.

Mesa showin’ off her new headband and some tatts.


Here are a couple of new friends from Sunday. This friendly frog was in my path on an early mornign hike. The other ‘thing’ was in teh garden later that morning. He could totally disappear amoung the leaves. Kind of like a grasshopper, but not.


Posted by on August 26, 2008 in Family, hiking, Kids


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Blankie Books and Giant Flies

You may have noticed I added a little widget to the sidebar of bartblog. It lets you know what book I’m reading now (as if you want to know). I just finished Walden by Henry David Thoreau last night. I read the ‘Concord Library’ edition with a foreword and some notes by one of my other favorite authors: Bill McKibben (his Deep Economy is a must read).

Walden is one of those books I’ll carry around with me a lot, sort of like a favorite blankie or something. I have a couple other books like that–there’s a good chance you’ll find The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer and Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write pretty much every time you snoop in my backpack.

I just started (last night) with a new book. Jaimie brought home Eckart Tolle’s The Power of Now (the book he wrote before he met Oprah), and by the intro and first dozen pages, it is definitely a candidate for the ‘blankie books.’ Jaim’s boss gave all the managers a copy yesterday–Jaim is reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, so I jumped her in line to read Tolle. I can’t figure out what could have prompted her to buy that Mars and Venus book…

Happy reading.

A big ass fly.

Jaimie discovered this monster fly on the side of our house this afternoon. I’ve never seen one so huge (that’s my index finger in the photo for scale). Anybody know what it is? C’mon you closet entemologists out there…


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We’re off to JazzFest with the Ver Steegs (and other friends) tonight. That’s Tab Benoit in the picture. He plays at 7:30. Hope to see you there.


Posted by on July 18, 2008 in Celebrations, etc., readings


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