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New England gets hopping with Wheat Harvest Jamboree

B.J. Fullerton of New England drives his blue-and-orange demolition derby car, which garnered the award for best paint job, at Saturday afternoon's Wheat Harvest Jamboree event in New England.

NEW ENGLAND -- A little rain early in the day wasn't enough to keep people from Wheat Harvest Jamboree 2013 festivities here on Saturday.

With clouds breaking at times by mid-afternoon, the consensus seemed to be that a good time was had by most at New England's annual fall festival.

"We're really happy with the turnout today," said Steve LaFramboise, owner of The B.A., a New England bar, diner and bowling alley, and a member of the town's Commercial Club. "While it was raining earlier (Saturday), our diner was just going crazy. We had more people out and about than I was expecting."

Beginning with a 5k Fun Run and Walk at 7 a.m., the day was packed chock full of activities, including a "cow drop" and a demolition derby.

Close to 250 people were out for the start of the demolition derby, which featured 30 vehicles, and drivers and teams from all over the region.

B.J. Fullerton of New England got the derby going by driving an American flag in for the singing of the national anthem in his blue-and-orange derby car, which won the award for best paint job.

"We definitely had an above-average turnout for the derby and that's great to see," said Jessica Eisenbarth of the New England Boosters Club. "Because this is the last derby of the season, we got some people from places like Fargo and other places pretty far away."

Eisenbarth said all proceeds from the derby went to support New England Public School activities. Derby organizer and New England resident John Plaggemeyer said he was impressed with the crowd on hand for the event.

"It's a little muddy because of the rain," Plaggemeyer said. "We're happy to be out here and pleased with the amount of people that came out to watch."

Saturday night featured a street dance and a kid's rodeo event was scheduled for noon today.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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