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Larimore, N.D., celebrates with watermelon and more

LARIMORE, N.D. -- As the Larimore Days parade neared its conclusion Saturday morning, the Larimore Museum and Historical Society lawn was set up with tents, trailers and tables for the town's annual summer festival.

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Ellen Gregoire and Ryley Cronin share a laugh before taking part in the watermelon eating contest at Larimore Days in Larimore, N.D. on July 16, 2016. (Meg Oliphant/Grand Forks Herald)

LARIMORE, N.D. - As the Larimore Days parade neared its conclusion Saturday morning, the Larimore Museum and Historical Society lawn was set up with tents, trailers and tables for the town's annual summer festival.

Larimore Days began last week, with the bulk of events Saturday, and wraps up today.

The annual town festival featured more than a dozen events Saturday and offered entertainment for all ages. The museum's doors were open amidst the vendors, rummage sales and bouncy houses.

Stephanie Johnson was helping run The Scoop Mobile, the Larimore restaurant's food truck. The Scoop Mobile is booked all summer from June to August on Friday nights and Saturdays, Johnson said. The food truck is present at street dances, festivals and auctions in small towns across the region.

"It's fun to see small communities have these celebrations," Johnson said. "They draw quite a large crowd."

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This was certainly the case for Larimore Days. Hundreds lined the street for the parade at 11 a.m. Small children awaited candy thrown by passing Shriners, firemen driving their trucks and women riding horses.

At noon, in the midst of food and furniture vendors, there was a children's watermelon-eating contest. Volunteers shouted into bullhorns as the time approached, gathering participants.

Riley Cronin, 13, finished first in her age division after eating nearly four slices of watermelon in a minute. Cronin participated in the contest last year as well. She said she felt "good" about winning and looked forward to going to the different vendors with her friends.

One of those venders was René Newland, who operates The Donut Shack with her husband, Billy. The Newlands have sold fresh-made donuts, lemonade and other snacks at Larimore Days since 2006 out of the portable donut stand from Alvarado, Minn. René said her favorite part about being a part of Larimore Days is "meeting people and talking."

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Ed Skarlem, 7, devours his watermelon piece in the watermelon-eating contest held in Larimore, N.D. as part of the Larimore Days celebration on July 16, 2016. (Meg Oliphant/Grand Forks Herald)

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