Prairie Pothole Days to mark its 40th year at Stoney Ridge Farm near New London this Saturday


— As it has for the past four decades, the Stoney Ridge Farm will host the Prairie Pothole Days on Saturday.

The 40th anniversary event will be absent Roger Strand, who died June 6 on age 87, but not his spirit. He opened this property along U.S. Highway 71 and Sibley State Park for the event all of these years as part of his passion for introducing families and young people to the outdoors.

This year's event will feature every opportunity to do so. All of the favorite activities will be returning, according to the sponsors of the event, the

Prairie Pothole Conservation Association


Dog dock jumping contests, youth archery, waterfowl calling, trap and sporting clay shooting, black powder shooting and BB gun shooting are among the listed activities.

Exhibits include the "Wall of Shame" by the

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

enforcement division, unique bird houses by Byron Ficek, and others by organizations ranging from the Dark House Association and Lakes Area Metal Works to the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties.

Award-winning chainsaw artist Chris Kuehn, of Hackensack, is this year's featured artist.

As always, there is no admission fee. That's part of the tradition Strand started to encourage families to attend. There will be raffle tickets available on site to help support the sponsors in their costs. Supporters are encouraged to bring their own address labels.

The first Prairie Pothole Days event was held in 1983 as a fundraiser for the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and an opportunity to introduce area families to outdoor activities. It has been held every year since, except for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.