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Flapjack's honorary mayor almost a shoo-in

(ran PAS edition)

The announcement of this year's honorary mayor of Land O'Lakes will come during the Flapjack Festival, but it may not be much of a surprise.

During her remarks at the Miss Land O'Lakes pageant last weekend, current honorary mayor Darlene Greene told the crowd that Bill Gatrell would be next to wear the sash.

During intermission at the pageant, Greene praised Gatrell for his involvement in the community and advised him to remain active.

"Here's the mayor of Land O'Lakes," former Chamber of Commerce president Charlie Reese said as Gatrell approached him and a friend during intermission.

But Marjorie Walsh, the chamber's executive director, was careful to point out that the honorary mayor has not been officially named.

Gatrell, of the Wolfskill Foundation, shrugged off any suggestion that he could indeed be the winner.

"'I'm a candidate," he said. "I have opposition."

Rosie LaChance and Ray Lopez also are vying for the honor.

The winner is determined by the amount of money raised for the chamber through various events, and those figures aren't released until the festival.

The Flapjack Festival, which is the chamber's largest annual fund-raiser, has events running from Nov. 7-9.

Here is a look at those events:

The festival opens Friday at 4 p.m. with midway and hay rides. The Silver Eagle Band plays at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, an antique car show begins at 8 a.m. An arts and crafts show also starts at 8 and runs until 6 p.m. Business and non-profit booths will be set up during that time.

The festival's yummiest event, Saturday's free flapjack breakfast, will be from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. A chili cook-off will be from 9 a.m. until noon, and the Flapjack Parade will be at 2 p.m.

People interested in participating in the chili cook-off are asked to register with Carla Collier at 949-3920 or Gatrell at 996-6710.

Afternoon and evening events include Kids Night with Ronald McDonald at 4 p.m., the Silver Eagle Band at 7 p.m. and the Mr. Legs Contest at 8 p.m.

Gatrell said new to the festival this year will be a Grandmother Legs event, held after the Mr. Legs pageant. Afterward, the honorary mayor will be announced.

On Sunday, things wrap up with another flapjack breakfast, 6 a.m. to noon this time. The antique car show runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and an arts and crafts show runs from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Walsh said letters are being sent to residents who live near the community center and along the parade route to remind them of the impending festivities.

"We don't want anyone to be surprised," she said.