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Geo Center of food, fun

By Staff | Aug 29, 2014

On Sept. 6, Main Avenue will be one of the liveliest streets in Rugby, with Geographical Center Day events right at the heart of it.

“It is our day to celebrate being the Geographical Center of North America,” said Shelley Block, Rugby Area Chamber of Commerce director. “Not everyone knows that, and it’s a good way to get them to shop at our businesses and see what Rugby has to offer.”

The day starts at 11 a.m., with the Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride traveling from the Rugby Eagles aerie and down Main Avenue. The ride, now in its third year, honors late Rugby business owner and veteran Daryl Kuhnhenn, who died three years ago in a motorcycle accident.

At 1 p.m., organizers will drop the first of several prize-winning ping pong balls. Each ball will have a prize on it that is redeemable at a Rugby business.

From 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., various vendors will take to the street. Food vendors include the Pretzer family, with grilled pizzas; Rockin’ Relics with root beer floats; and 3rd Street Station with a meal consisting of ribs, corn and coleslaw.

“It won’t be a brought-in product. We’ll be smoking and cooking the ribs ourselves, making the coleslaw,” 3rd Street Station owner Dan Corum said. “It’ll be a fresh meal and we’ll be involved in every step of it.”

3rd Street Station also will handle one of the beer gardens during the street dance. The street dance starts at 8 p.m and goes until 1 a.m., with music from the band Hicktown. Miss Geographical Center Lexi Wyman, of Newburg, is slated to open for Hicktown at 7 p.m. Wyman sings and plays guitar.

In the past, Geographical Center Day was celebrated under a different name: the Wind Harvest festival. It was changed to reflect more on Rugby. Instead of taking place on the fairgrounds, Geographical Center Day takes place exclusively on Main Avenue. The addition of a street dance is another difference from previous years.

“Hopefully it turns out well and is so well-received that we just keep doing it every year,” Block said.

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