Belle Plaine’s new queen is Carrie Riesgraf (front center) was crowned at the 31st annual Bar-B-Q Days. She is flanked by First Princess Beth Jones (left) and Second Princess Wendy Behnke. In the back row are Miss Congeniality Julie Johnson and outgoing queen Margaret Siegler.

Tanya, “The world’s tamest leopard,” gets a hug from Mark Oestreich of Belle Plaine. A 14-year-old spotted leopard, Tanya traveled through here last Friday with her trainers and companion, Tasha, a 4-year-old black leopard to make an appearance.

The Carlsons and their horses were invited back this year to pull the historic Gladiator circus wagon.


Jamie Traxler, Doug Eckblad and Darrell Eckblad pedaled back into town after an afternoon of fishing down at a secret spot on the Minnesota River. The boys returned with a nice bunch of sunnies.

Ten Year old Luke Stuewe caught a cat fish in the Minnesota River Thursday that weighs almost half as much as Luke. He caught the 35-pound flathead catfish using 10 pound test line and a creek chub for bait.

Dave Watson provided entertainment Sunday during the Belle Plaine Historical Society’s annual flea market as he turned an old elm tree in to a pioneer man leaning against a post with an eagle overlooking.

The Young Astronauts Club, a group of elementary students who meet once a month after school to learn about aerospace from instructor Phoebe Einertson, recently held a launch-off event with their instruct made rockets. Heads went up to see just how high the rocket could go.

Friends and neighbors showed up all over the place to help families in Washington Lake and Faxon townships whose farms were hit by last Wednesday’s ferocious storm. Above, friends and family rally at the Michael Flaherty farm, one of the places caught in the middle of last week’s tornado.

The elementary band and chorus costumed themselves in Wonderland garb to present their annual spring program Sunday.

Pitching in to help keep belle plaine clean last Wednesday were members of the Junior High Student Council. For many years, the public works department has enlisted the help of the junior high council, in observance of Earth Day, to go around town picking up trash from the ditches.