On the Road: Blooming Prairie - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

On the Road: Blooming Prairie

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BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minn. (KTTC) -- This week we go on the road to Blooming Prairie. What is it that keeps this small community thriving and why is it that so many generations of people call this place "home."

This small rural town, with a population less than 2,000 people, lies along highway 218 between Owatonna and Austin.

"It really revolves around agriculture," explained Jenna Krell. "We have so many farmers and people that support farming, the whole community does."

In fact, an antique tractor pull was held at the Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration. One of the participants, was a farm girl, Jenna Krell, driving her brothers John Deere 720 Tractor.

"This is my first year pulling so this was a new experience for me, but my family has been pulling tractors for quite a few years," stated Krell.

If three is company and four's a crowd, consider this little community a close knit group.

"You feel safe and surrounded by loving and caring people. The small town is just like a big family and everyone is a part of it. There's people always watching out for you, you have the neighbors watching out the back door, "Hey are you guys behaving, it's just sweet," described Kierstin Wencl.

It's a place many people say they are proud to call home.

"Great community to live in, everybody is friendly and there is lots to do," said Dale Tollefson.

"The parks are great for the kids, there is a pool. There is plenty of activities for the kids, they never run out of anything to do. They're never bored, believe it or not in a small town, they're never bored," said Don Peterson.

There's several reasons for that: For example, when Jacob Peterson isn't patrolling the streets of BP, he directs a volunteer marching band for 7th -12th graders, called Stix of Fury.

"We went out and got the equipment, I went to the school and asked the kids if they wanted to play and they were all psyched and ready to do it, so I got all the kids to do it," stated Peterson.

This is the second year Stix of Fury has been banging their drums and the first year Peterson's wife, Alecia, has lead the color guard. Alecia moved to Blooming Prairie from Wisconsin and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

"Very warm, very welcoming, lots of enthusiasm and pride in the kids and everyone is excited," said Alecia.

A pride that resonates through the generations. While Don Nordine no longer lives in Blooming, he always looks forward to returning with his family for visits.

"My daughter just saw this and came running over to it and I was like, Ah, I remember this as a kid. It's right across from the elementary school so we'd come over here and play at recess," said Nordine.

In fact, memories flow through this community. Dale Tollefson's favorite memory involves his education.

"Going to high school here. Why was it so special? Cause there were a lot of good people, friends, classmates, and there are still a lot of them in town," said Tollefson.

Proof that a community that grows together, stays together.

The biggest gathering in Blooming Prairie takes place during the summer at the Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration. In just one day the community grows from 2,000 people to well over 35,000.  If you missed the fun this year, be sure to mark it on your calendar for the next.

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