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Let’s all get to muddin’

In its fifth year, Mud Fest is ramping up to be the biggest its ever been. The event takes place at 921 South Eighth Street in Cornell, Saturday, June 27, with festivities taking place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There will be camping available at the farm June 26-28, for those who bring in mudding vehicles. Although there is a gate to be admitted onto the property belonging to Dan Osborn, known as the Wisconsin Veterans Farm, the event is free to the public.

“It’s a fest,” said Osborn. “A bog would actually just be one hole that you run for distance.”

The event began in 2016, when Osborn retired from the military after 26 years.

“My retirement party, my daughter’s birthday, it rained for three days,” said Osborn. “So, the family that came to visit… they got stuck and it took us three days to get the trucks out, so, it turned into a fest.”

The fest continued the following year, when Osborn’s kids came to visit and this year, it is planned to be even bigger, as a tribute to Osborn’s kids, for Christmas, Easter and birthdays, all rolled into one big event.

“Get a little bit muddy and have a little bit of fun,” said Osborn.

Included in the festivities of the day, are five bands who are donating their musical talents. The only money changing hands, would be to purchase the entertainers’ merchandise or donations to the Wisconsin Veterans Farm, which gives funds to the American Legion and VFW.

“This is sort of a hick-hock, sort of like rap, but country,” said Osborn.

Osborn is working to have enough parking and security, will have porta potties and is hoping to have shuttle service to show off the town.

With 75 acres to its credit, the farm has offered sauerkraut and wine-making events in the past, which started out as simply selling chicken eggs. Osborn is currently working on receiving a permit to sell his wine, made with grapes he’s raising in his vineyard.

“It works in a lot of different ways,” said Osborn of how the farm works.

Normally, people show up to socialize, help out around the place and learn how to do something, such as running wires for grape vines. Some people lend their cooking talents or help with a construction project.

“It doesn’t have to be a military veteran, it’s just anybody,” said Osborn. “It kind of brings people together.”

As for the mud fest, most of the proceeds to hold the event come from a thrift sale the farm held, selling donated items. After receiving an exemption of city ordinance, to allow for loud discharge of vehicles, car horns honking and loud cheering, Mud Fest 2020 is becoming a reality.

“Everybody is welcome,” said Osborn.