July 21, 2023
Carlton has seen many celebrations over the years. As a kid visiting my aunt, uncle and cousins in Carlton, I remember a big celebration with a big carnival in the area where the N.P. Junction Pavilion is now located. It was an exciting weekend for a kid from the country.
The community has always been supportive of the Carlton celebrations. This year the Carlton Daze Celebration will be held July 28-30.
In March of 1918 there was a short parade of the Red Cross Bandage Class. The ladies were marching in formation in their crisp white uniforms, and the community marching band supported their efforts.
In November of 1947 the first Cabbage Festival was held, with 1,000 people in attendance. There was a cabbage dinner, music, speakers, and a broadcast on KDAL radio for those who could not attend due to the stormy weather.
At one time there was a “July Fourth Celebration at Carlton.” The day began with a parade starting at the Village Hall, a baseball game between Carlton and Wrenshall, and horse racing on Thomson Road. There were races for men and ladies, a potato race, an egg race for ladies, foot races for kids, and a peanut contest for boys under 10 years of age. The day ended with a best-looking baby contest, a band concert and boxing/wrestling matches.
Another Carlton celebration, held on Aug. 25, 1926, was the Calf Club Show, and the Street Fair, which was started in 1914. These were separate events before being combined to make it more interesting for the farmers in the area and to bring more people to the town of Carlton.
The Carlton County Centennial was held Aug. 12-14, 1949, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Minnesota becoming a territory. The events for the three-day celebration included square dancing every night, an auction, bicycle and foot races, rummage sales, a rodeo, horseshoe pitching and so much more.
We must not forget the Centennial Celebration for the city of Carlton, known as Northern Pacific Junction in the beginning. This event was held
July 23 -26, 1981, four days of activities, food and fun that brought everyone together. Activities included races, a rodeo at the Aanerud farm, an auction, a steak fry, a pancake breakfast, a garden tractor pull, and so many other activities. The Centennial Committee worked to make the Centennial one to remember. Committee members were Meredith English, Nils Nystrom, Linda Seboe and Joe Wojtysiak. The Carlton Centennial flag was designed and created by Meredith English, who was the health and physical education teacher at Carlton High school.
This 1981 event was the beginning of the Carlton Daze community celebration as we know it today. For several years the Carlton Chamber planned many activities for kids and adults. In 1992, I organized a 5K for Friday night as a family event that is still taking place. Over the years there have been many activities, craft shows, food vendors, games, softball, volleyball, live music, reunions and more.
I would like to thank all of the Carlton businesses and organizations who have helped to support this great community event over the years. And thank you to all of the people in the Carlton community who come out to participate in all of the activities.