Two different small-town festivals here in the Northland are finalists in a nationwide competition to win a big financial boost, and you can help them!

Minnesota-based Cenex kicked off a nationwide campaign for fans to submit community festivals as part of their Hometown Throwdown. After getting over 500 submissions, a Northern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin festival are among the three finalists in line to win.

Cenex's Hometown Throwdown recently named Hayward, Wisconsin's Musky Festival, and Roseau, Minnesota's Fall Harvest Festival as two of the three finalists in this competition, in which the winner will get a $100,000 cash prize.

With two-thirds of the finalists in our part of the world, you might wonder where the third finalist is from. It is a soybean festival in Central Missouri. But in the spirit of hometown pride, we'll wish them the best but focus on our local favorites.

What's cool about being a finalist in this contest is that each remaining festival is guaranteed to win something. Second and third place will each get a $25,000 cash prize, which is pretty nice. But the winner is getting $100,000, so there's a lot to be said about getting the vote out for your favorite among these festivals!

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If you aren't familiar, here's a quick look at each of the festivals in our region:

Musky Festival in Hayward, WI: Cenex's description of this event highlights it as a 74-year-old tradition that includes a 48-hour fishing contest, fish craft art, and a watermelon-eating contest. The Musky Fest website also highlights live music, carnival rides, parade, and more. This year's event is June 21-24, 2024.

Fall Harvest Festival in Roseau, WI: Cenex's voting page describes this annual event as "spicing up autumn with a hotdish cook-off, pie-eating contest, pet costume contest, and a pro wrestling show". The Fall Harvest Festival website also highlights live music, food trucks, hayrides, and more as part of the fun. Their website doesn't have dates for 2024 yet, but the event was held last year in October.

If you'd like to vote, you can do so yet through May 15 on the Cenex Hometown Throwdown website. They note that this voting is one vote per person. Once voting has concluded, they will announce a winner on May 24, 2024.

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