Wabasha celebrates 21st annual Grumpy Old Men Festival - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Wabasha celebrates 21st annual Grumpy Old Men Festival


WABASHA, Minn. (KTTC) -- The 21st annual "Grumpy Old Men" Festival kicked off in Wabasha on Saturday.

Hundreds attended the festival named after the 1993 romantic comedy starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret.  Music and laughter filled the halls of the United Church of Christ where festival goers stopped by for some homestyle cooking.

"Grumpy Old Men Festival is just a lot of fun and it brings a lot of people in-even on bad roads," said Pastor Jim Clausen.

Roads weren't the only problem facing the festival--the Chamber of Commerce advised boaters to stay away from the shores of the Mississippi River just days after a major snowstorm hit the area.  Still, people came in droves to the various activities around the city which included: ice Fishing, minnow races, cribbage, and bingo.

Carol Pagel and her daughter Amy Glomski couldn't stay away from the setting of one of their favorite movies.

"We've seen it over and over--love the movie," said Pagel of Vining.  

"My husband is from Wabasha--so the movie has a very special place in his heart and our hearts and we've watched it for years," said Glomski of Wabasha.

While lunch came to a close at the church, down the road divers began arriving at Slippery's for the 6th annual Grumpy Plunge into the Mississippi.

"I've done it before," said Adrianna Baab of Wabasha.  "It's going to be cold but it will be worth it."

Despite freezing temperatures, plungers say participating in all of the festivals outdoor activities is what sets Wabasha residents apart.

"It's just all cold weather gatherings. Nothing warm about it except for the fire," said Ben Ranft of Wabasha.

All the money raised from the festival's activities stays in Wabasha to make improvements where needed.

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