39TH BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL & TASTE OF SLOVENIA

39TH BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL
Whiteside Park – Ely MN – July 26, 27, 28 – 2019
The Blueberry Festival is the premier summer event in Ely. This year’s turnout was huge especially on Saturday. Friday was a little cloudy with a nice cool breeze. People were coming to the park empty handed but left carrying bags of purchases. That was also a good sign. The merchandise is first class and the vendors couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful. This year boasted over 300 artists and crafters. The food court had 30 eating booths. I made the mistake of ordering the fried crab cakes wich had no taste, served with four carrot slices, three broccoli pieces and a few chopped onion pieces, all undercooked! The price was $12! I continue to have mobility problems so I wasn’t able to spend enough time to take in the entire festival. There were plenty of places to sit down and rest so that helped me. I was advised a month ago to get a walking cane which I ordered from Amazon. Unfortunately the one sent to me just didn’t feel right. By the time I got to vendor six in the park I stopped dead in my steps. It was a booth of homemade canes. The salesman picked out three canes and the third one I tried was perfect for me! I felt safe and comfortable using it. I can now move around Ely with some support. I was not able to stay for the musical events as my legs started to weaken and I had to limp back to my apartment. I am thankful to have seen as much a I did and hopefully next year I can see it all. What a wonderful weekend this turned out to be not only for the citizens of Ely but for the hundreds of visitors from out of town.
TASTE OF SLOVENIA
St. Anthony’s Catholic Church – Saturday August 3, 2019
In October 2009 I took a trip of a life time – I went to the Slovenian villages where my grandparents were born. Victor Novak was born in the town of Sodrazica in 1882 and Grandma (Angela Zager) was born in 1883. My mother’s parents Charles (Carl) Gorshe and his wife Mary (Zabasnik) were born in Ribnica. It was very emotional walking around the small towns were they had lived. Due to horrific living conditions they came to America. And with these thoughts in mind I made my first visit to the Taste Of Slovenia in Ely. We (me and another tenant from Pioneer Apartments) arrived at the church fifteen minutes before the doors opened. The line of people was already a block long! Promptly at eleven o’clock as the church bells rang we were admitted into the church basement which was surrounded with food booths, many run by young children. For ten dollars you get ten choices of the food you want to eat. The menu was mouthwatering Slovenian food. You had the option of trying the Slivovitz which is a drink that will put you in a good mood. I passed on this cocktail. They had stuffed peppers and mushroom soup, Krofe with a slice of ham, sweet peppers with French bread, blood sausage (I passed on this one too) Zinkrofe, apple strudel and everyone’s favorite walnut potica. While you ate in the background was Slovenian Polka Music which had many people dancing with themselves. This was just a wonderful “feel good” event. Don’t miss it next year.
On August 2 I celebrated my 78th birthday. I just don’t feel that old. My life has been so great and I hope it continues. Like the old saying goes “the older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune”