Article by: Abby Wright
Every year, the community of Historic Mantorville, MN celebrates its heritage as a Western, Victorian frontier town and Minnesota’s history as the 32nd state in the United States and the first to volunteer troops for the Union cause in the Civil War. Stagecoach Days, a two-day event, offers interactive games and activities for residents and visitors of all ages, in addition to contests, an array of vendors and refreshments, and free, live performances by Minnesota-grown artists, musicians, actors/re-enactors, and story-tellers.
In April, CEDA Community Grant Specialist, Abby Wright, authored a successful Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) Small Towns/Rural Areas grant to help fund Stagecoach Days 2020, which was to debut a fiddle contest, rides in an authentic stagecoach, and Teddy Roosevelt actors and props.
Stagecoach Days is one of Mantorville’s largest annual events and community efforts. The festival is well-attended at an estimated 1,200 people over the two days, and the new additions will keep Stagecoach Days fun and fresh.
The $1,380 SEMAC award follows a $470 micro-grant award from the Minnesota State Fiddlers Association (MSFA), which Wright authored in February on behalf of the Mantorville Stagecoach Days Committee. The MSFA grant will fund about half of the total cost of the fiddle contest.
Stagecoach Days 2020 has been cancelled, but both SEMAC and the MSFA are retaining the grant awards for the next Stagecoach Days, which will take place the last weekend in June 2021.