Miss Mindoro contestants

Four Melrose-Mindoro teens, Lauren Koss, Kaitlyn Opland, Katie Hoeth and Katie Peterson, are in the running for this year’s Miss Mindoro. The 2017 Miss Mindoro will be announced Friday at 7 p.m. during the annual Spanferkel Festival in Lions Park.

The Mindoro Lions Club is hoping for some drier weather this weekend for the annual Spanferkel Festival after rain put a damper on last year’s festivities.

“It’s billed as Wisconsin’s biggest pork fest,” Mindoro Lion’s Club President Tom Knudtson said. “If you come out Friday night you’re going to get a nice sliced pork sandwich which is really good.”

The annual festival has a lot more to offer than pork. Every year, Spanferkel brings together hundreds from throughout the Coulee Region to celebrate the pork industry and share in the food, entertainment and games.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser,” Knudtson said adding that the majority of proceeds from the festival go to support charities important to the Lions Club. This year’s focus has been on diabetes awareness and prevention.

The festivities are set to kick off at 5 p.m. this Friday with the fourth annual Punt, Pass & Kick competition at the Lions Park in Mindoro. Kids age 6-15 are eligible to take part in the competition.

At 7 p.m., the Lions Club will crown the next Miss Mindoro, who will have the honor of representing the Mindoro Lions Club and Spanferkel across the Coulee Region for the next year.

Miss Mindoro Pageant organizer Lara Hines said all girls who live in the town of Farmington and are sophomores or older are eligible to run for the post.

In the running for Miss Mindoro are sophomores Lauren Koss, Kaitlyn Opland, Katie Hoeth and Katie Peterson.

“I think it’s a great way for the girls to get involved in the community and give back to the community,” Hines said.

During the celebration, Miss Mindoro and her court will be responsible for running the inflatable children’s rides and the children’s bean bag tournament on Saturday.

Children ages 10-17 are eligible to participate in the beanbag toss. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and the tournament begins at 1 p.m. The cost is $5 per team.

Friday night’s entertainment includes music by Good Times Entertainment from 8-10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The fireworks are set to light up the night at 10 p.m.

Slow-roasted pork, brats and refreshments will be available all three days of the festival.

Returning once again Friday at 7 p.m. is the 30-and-over men’s slow-pitch softball tournament.

Saturday the festivities are set to ramp up with the start of the 5K walk/run, poker run, bingo and an adult horseshoe and bean bag tournament.

The FFA Tractor Rodeo will start revving up their engines at 2 p.m., and the truck and tractor pull is sure to pull in a crowd starting at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s music will be provided by local band Ontourage from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The annual pie and ice cream social at 10 a.m. will signal the final day of the festival.

After the parade at 1:30 p.m., the Mel-Min FFA will host their second annual alumni drawing. Anyone is eligible to enter.

Providing entertainment Sunday will be Legends and Outlaws.

For more information on Spanferkel, visit the Mindoro Lions Club website at mindorolionsclub.org or search for Mindoro Lions on Facebook.

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Tobias Mann is a reporter with the River Valley Media Group. He can be reached at tobias.mann@lee.net or at 608-791-8216.

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