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Old Wadena Rendezvous a big draw for the county

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Biologist Dick Oehlenschlager, far left, gives a lesson in natural history to a family at Old Wadena Rendezvous omnSunday afternoon. From left, Joe, Jakob, Elissa, Elena and Sarah Ikola.1 / 2
Photo by Rachelle Klemme Blacksmith Mike Hoffman does a demonstration of 1840s life Sunday at Old Wadena Rendezvous.2 / 2

At Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folklife Festival, parking attendants ride on horseback, hayrides shuttle passengers to their destination and history enthusiasts re-enact life in the 1840s.

"We've been doing this for 20-some years," Old Wadena Society President Tim Kajer said at this year's event, which was held Aug. 11-12 at the Old Wadena Park.

The mission of Old Wadena Rendezvous is to share information about the natural environment and history of the area, according to its website.

Jerry Mevissen, member of Old Wadena Society, said attendance for this year's event was one of the best on record: there were 350 paid adult admissions throughout the two-day event, plus at least 100 kids under 12 admitted free.

North of Staples and Aldrich, Old Wadena Park is one of nine county parks.

Wadena County Park Manager Glen Motzko said while Old Wadena is not the county's most visited park - that would be Cottingham - it is the park with the most documented history.