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Welcome to Gopher Count

gopher The 142st annual Gopher Count will be held Wednesday, June 15th & Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Since 1874 people have traveled to Viola Minnesota on the third Thursday of June to celebrate the Viola Gopher Count. This event originated with local farmers choosing teams to see which team could collect the most gopher tails. The annual counting of the tails culminated with the losing team providing a picnic for the winning team. Through the years, the day's events have changed, but the common thread of a community coming together for friendship and fun has continued for 142 years! This annual event is the second oldest continual running celebration in the nation.

Events begin on Wednesday evening with Family night. The evening starts with the 5K Run & Family Walk. Remember the crowning of the King and Queen, that will take place at 7:00 PM. The evening’s activities conclude with a spectacular fireworks display. On Thursday, the Grand Parade begins at 10:00 A.M. rain or shine. Following the parade there are many events to keep you entertained throughout the day. They include a soap box derby, local talent content, doll buggy parade, pie eating contests, ladies nail driving contest, races, and a beanbag contest and Bingo in the town hall. The big street dance (rain or shine) start at 9 pm with Diesel Drive under the big tent!!

*The 5K Run/ 1 Mile Family Walk Starts at 6:15 PM on Wednesday June 15th,  Click here to download the registration form. This has become a popular event for competitive runners and casual walkers. Come enjoy the beauty of the Viola countryside!

Viola Gopher Count Events

Click on any of the events below to get more information

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

6:00 pm
5:30-9:00 pm
5:00-8:00 pm
5:00-6:00 pm
6:15 pm
7:00 pm
7:15 pm

» Food & Beer Garden
» Inflatables & Games
» Souvenir Stand
» Run/Walk Registration
» 5K Run/Family Walk
» Royalty Crowning
» Caledonian Pipe Band*
» Fireworks (Rain Date Thursday; Sponsored by Leitzen Concrete)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

10:00 am
10:00-3:00 pm
11:00 am
11:00-3:00 pm
11:00-3:00 pm
11:00 am
11:30 am
11:30-1:00 pm
12:00 pm
1:00 pm

2:00 pm
5:30-7:30 pm
9:00-12:30 am

» Grand Parade (Rain or Shine)
» Souvenir Stand
» Food & Beer Garden
Park Entertainment
» Inflateables & Games
» 4H Cake Walk (Inside Town Hall)
» Gopher Gold Hunt* (Sponsored by Bremer Bank)
» Soap Box Derby on Center St. (Near Viola Church)
» Local Talent Contest
» Doll Buggy Parade*, Pie Eating Contest*, Nail Driving Contest*, Foot Races
» Bean Bag Tourney (Register at Beer Garden by 1pm)
» Bingo in Town Hall
» $5 Street Dance DIESEL DRIVE

* Events on Park Stage

Street Dance