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Sherri Richards, Published August 29 2010

Horace celebration is full of beans

HORACE, N.D. – With roadblocks bookending both ends of this 2,000-person community 9 miles southwest of Fargo, the normally busy thoroughfare of County Road 17 truly becomes Horace’s Main Street during Bean Days.

On Saturday morning, the fire department’s yellow equipment was parked on the side of the street, clearing out the town’s fire hall for wooden picnic tables and a pancake feed.

Spectators in folding chairs lined the street to watch about 70 southbound parade floats. Food vendors and craft booths were also set up alongside the road.

Residents say the annual celebration gives them a chance to meet their neighbors.

“We’re more of a bedroom community,” said Horace resident Heidi Wilcox. “It’s a chance for us to get to know each other and gather as a community.”

Darren Feist of Horace agreed. “Everybody leads such busy lives, no one ever gets to meet their neighbors and on days like this you can,” he said.

While potatoes were all the rage this weekend in similarly sized Barnesville, Minn., Horace honors its area bean farmers each year.

Four slow cookers filled with baked beans comprised the bean cook-off Saturday morning in front of the fire hall.

“I think No. 4 will take it,” Feist said as he finished sampling the entries. He liked that it wasn’t too sweet, and mixed in other ingredients like ground beef and kidney beans.

Taste testers could sample each entry for free, and submit their votes for the winner on small Post-it Notes.

“They love it, especially around noon,” Wilcox said. “It’s a little early for beans,” she joked around 8:30 a.m.

Ron Evenson of Kindred, N.D., was one of the early morning bean tasters. He prefers baked beans with a sharper flavor, featuring mustard, molasses and brown sugar.

“I still remember my mom’s recipe,” he said, drinking coffee in front of the fire hall. “Of course, Mom’s recipe doesn’t get beat. No. 2 was the closest, but a distant second.”

Evenson had never been to Bean Days before, but some of his relatives who live in Horace came to Kindred’s community celebration earlier this month. He decided to return the favor.

And he may return next year with a batch of his mom’s beans, if he can get it just right.

“I think my mother held something back when she gave us the recipe,” he said.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556