Beans Bring Hundreds Together in Pequot Lakes
About the only place in the world where beans will bring people together is Pequot Lakes, but beans were the topic of discussion as part of the 80th Bean Hole Day. It’s a tradition that is unique to Pequot Lakes.
“It is the only place that we know of that has a festival where you bury beans into the ground in giant kettles,” Katie Wassermann, Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce Interim Director, said.
Bean Hole Day is a two-day festival that first involves burying the beans, letting them cook overnight, and then serving them the day after. It’s something that started as a way to honor the local farmers.
“It started back in the 1930s as one pot of beans, a very small pot,” Sue Galligan, Brainerd Lakes Chamber Events & Connections Manager, said. “It was done after the fall harvest, and it was the bankers and businessmen getting together to do a pot luck of beans, and everything else that was brought for food as a thank you to the farmers for the harvest.”
Since then, it has blossomed into an event that has gathered worldwide attention with guests coming from Florida, California, and even Brazil.
“I’m actually living in L.A., came out, we rented a cabin up here as a family, and we love Bean Hole Day,” attendee Pete Reinart said.
Before the beans could be enjoyed, a king and queen had to be announced for their work in helping with this year’s festival.
“Central Bean Company has been donating the beans for many, many years, so we selected a person from Central Bean Company to do that,” Galligan said. “Lakes Gas donates the propane every year, so we selected a person from there.”
After the bean king and queen gave the beans their seal of approval, it was finally time for the public to try out the beans.
“The beans are the best they’ve ever been; they are delicious,” attendee Barb Couture said.
“They’re fantastic, amazing beans,” Reinart said.
Many volunteers were needed to help prepare the beans, businesses sponsored and gave each kettle a name, and it’s a festival that the locals are happy to call their own.
“I think everyone that’s from here has pride in this festival, and the people that come here love it too,” Wassermann said.
The beans were free to try, and Pequot Lakes has no plans to stop the eighty-year-old tradition.