Mark your calendar: Lake Elmo Huff-n-Puff Days here soon



Get ready for some seriously fun exercise. The 29th annual Lake Elmo Huff-n-Puff Days are just around the corner. The weekend offers a fun variety of activities and games for adults and games and entertainment for kids.

The festivities will begin on Thursday, Aug. 11 and run through Sunday, Aug. 14. The fun is hosted and sponsored by the Lake Elmo Jaycees.

"Come on out and have some fun," said co-coordinator Michelle Carlson, a Jaycee member.

Sporting events such as golf, softball and volleyball give folks of all athletic ability a chance to compete in tournaments for prizes and pride. Games for these grand tournaments are held at various locations around Lake Elmo.

"Come root for your favorite team, no matter what the sport is," Carlson encouraged.

Lots of fun activities and games will be going on for kids both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Kids in pre-school to 9 years old can participate in the kids' games on Saturday, while kids of all ages are invited for Sunday. Saturday's kids' games are scheduled from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., while Sunday activities run from 1 to 3 p.m.

The activities both games will be held at Lions Park, in the playground area. They're completely free and provide a great chance for kids to win some prizes and have a ball playing classic summer time games.

Huff-n-Puff Days T-shirts and tank tops will be on sale at Lions Park from Aug. 11 through 14. Tank tops cost $12 and T-shirts cost $15. They're an inexpensive, fun souvenir and an easy way to support the Jaycees, who intend that all profits from the weekend go back to the community.

Huff-n-Puff Days buttons will also be on sale. For just $1 you can get a neat button support the festivities. Buying a button also gets you entered into a drawing for dozens of fun prizes. Buttons will be for sale at area businesses and at Lions Park during the festivities.

Concessions will be open throughout the weekend, offering the classic summer favorites: hot dogs, chips, pop and more.

"It's the city celebration – the mayor has even declared it," Carlson said. "The great part is that all the proceeds go back into the community."

Now in its 29th year, Huff-n-Puff Days has become a summer tradition for many Lake Elmo residents. Folks who grew up going to Huff-n-Puff Days every summer are now taking their kids.

That sense of classic summer fun is part of what makes the highly anticipated weekend such a hit year after year. But with all the live competition, each Huff-n-Puff is dynamic and unique. The bottom line: it's not an event you want to miss.

Many of the events will be at Lions Park on Laverne Avenue North, just behind the post office. Here are a few of the weekend's highlights:

Softball Tournament

Don't miss out on the biggest attraction Huff-n-Puff has to offer: its annual softball tournament. With more than 100 teams competing, the Huff-n-Puff softball tournament is one of the biggest softball tournaments of its kind in the state. It also has a reputation for being one of the most fun.

There are both men and women's divisions, with games played at various locations between Lake Elmo and Stillwater. The official tournament board will be held at Lions Park.

This year's tournament looks to be the best and biggest ever. With no dance on Saturday night this year, games will be extended later than ever before. So bring your lawn chairs and blankets and watch softball from dawn to dusk.

Each game will last either seven innings or 55 minutes, whichever comes first. Teams are guaranteed at least three games before the tournament enters single-elimination rounds. The win-loss record from the teams' first two games will be used for determining the brackets.

There will be 64 men's teams and 32 women's teams competing for the honor of winning the Huff-n-Puff tournament. Of course, they'll be having a blast in the process.

Have some fun and check out the tournament. It's a great chance to watch some of the top teams from across the state, catch some sun and enjoy nearby concessions.

Sand volleyball tournament

It's time to bump, set and spike at the annual sand volleyball tournament at Lions Park. Games will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug.13 and last until close to dusk.

The eight-team tournament is double elimination, meaning teams are guaranteed at least two matches. Matches are best two out of three games, with the first two games up to 25 and the third game up to 15.

It's just like you see in the Olympics, only you get a few more people to help you cover the court; teams consist of three ladies and three guys. And rather than a gold medal, each member of the winning team gets a T-shirt. The second place team splits $25.

Registration is still open for the co-ed tournament, so why not round up a group of six and try your luck on the sand?

To register, send a check for $50 to the Lake Elmo Jaycees, care of Andy Klein, at 623 Oak St., W., Stillwater, MN 55082.

"It's a lot of fun," Klein said. "You can bring your kids; there's softball going on right there too, and there's concessions."

Golf

Are you the next Tiger Woods? If so, the Huff-n-Puff golf day will give you a chance to show off your stuff. If not, that's OK – grab your clubs anyway and head out to Mulligan Masters golf course for a good time.

Tee time is 10 a.m. Sunday. For many, there's not a better spot to be on a beautiful weekend morning than the greens. Savor the quiet if you take your golfing serious, or enjoy joking around with your buddies if its more recreational for you.

Just be careful: whiffs on this day of golf have a way of being remembered for years at future Huff-n-Puff Days.

Of course, the fun memories last quite a while too. To register, call Jason Needham at 770-0998.

Kids Games

The Jaycees have put together a fun weekend line-up for kids. Kids games and activities will be going on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Lions Park. On Sunday, Aug. 14, games will be going from 1 to 3 p.m.

Swing on by with your kids and let them enjoy classic festival fun. It's sure to be a great summer memory.

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