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Museum to celebrate Rhubarb Festival Sunday

By Staff | Jun 21, 2019

Tribune file photo

It’s rhubarb season again, and Rugby’s Prairie Village Museum is ready to celebrate.

The museum’s seventh annual Rhubarb Festival opens Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m., featuring both sweet and savory dishes with rhubarb as the star ingredient.

Museum Director Stephanie Steinke said via email festivalgoers will have a chance to try six different samples of the more than 30 rhubarb treats for $5.00.

“The tasting is inside the Sandven building, so we will have it rain or shine,” Steinke said.

Although admission to the event for Prairie Village museum members is free, non-members will be charged admission at the museum’s front desk.

Steinke credited Richard Davidson (who died last week) with the idea to share one of North Dakota’s favorite flavors in a wide assortment of dishes.

Davidson’s daughter, Natalie, said she thought the idea came from the town of Aneta, where her mother, Elsie grew up. “They’ve been doing it for many years during their turkey barbecue festival,” Natalie Davidson said. “Dad got the idea from there, because there’s a lot of rhubarb around town, and people don’t really know how to use rhubarb.”

“They’re getting together to share ideas and share recipes and show people how delicious rhubarb can be,” Natalie continued.

Steinke called the Rhubarb Festival “one of the museum’s main summer events.” She said the museum would accept what she called “rhubarb-themed desserts or food items” from anyone wishing to share his or her specialty with others.

The museum’s Facebook page has instructions for those wishing to share a rhubarb dish: “If you’d like to bake for the festival you can drop your item off at the Museum front desk anytime after June 20. You can also drop it off the morning of the event on the 23rd.”

The page also offers suggestions for cooks looking for rhubarb recipes.

Steinke said the Rhubarb Festival has drawn large crowds in past years. “In 2018, we had over 200 people attend.”

Steinke said different rhubarb dishes seem to please the crowd each year, so there doesn’t seem to be a perennial favorite.

“Each year there is something different, so each year has its own highlights,” Steinke said. “You never know what people will bring or create, so it’s best to come early before things sell out to get the best samples and variety.”

Steinke recalled one particular creation that sparked interest.

“Last year, there was a Jell-O mold with celery, rhubarb and apple. People either loved it or thought it was wild,” she said.

Other attractions on the museum grounds include wine tasting for attendees over 21 years old and lunch items from a grill. A car show will take place on the grounds as well, weather permitting.

A “Maker’s Market,” featuring what Steinke described as “a variety of handmade crafts and dcor and food items like home made bread” will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Steinke said the market would be outdoors. “If it rains, the market will move inside our galleries, but the show goes on.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for a new museum building to house an exhibit depicting the story of Germans from Russia will take place during the busy Sunday as well. The ceremony is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

More information about the Rhubarb Festival is available at 776-6414, or by clicking on “7thAnnual Rhubarb Festival” on the Prairie Village Museum’s Facebook page.

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