Even though Steamboat Days festivities were canceled this year in Carver, Emily Gillespie wasn’t about to miss out on a chance to do “a little bit of celebrating."

“I plan to come to Carver each year and mark it down on my calendar because I just love the people and how fun it always is,” Gillespie, of Minneapolis, said Sept. 12 while touring a car show in the downtown area.

“I know the pandemic thing halted most everything, but when I heard they were still have garage sales and a car show, I wanted to come back just to show support for them,” Gillespie, 32, said, adding that she would like patronize other businesses downtown. “Everyone is always so nice here. I’ll be here for the festivities next year for sure.”

There may have been only about a score of vehicles on display, but that was enough to draw in Bud Quilling and his nephew Jona Skrstad of the Jordan area.

“You can’t beat looking at old cars and talking to the people who own them,” Quilling said, getting a nod from Skrstad, 14. “We try to fix some up, so talking with this people who take such good care of them and work on them is quite a treat. It’s been a fun day.”

Jill and Larry Fossen of Chaska meandered among the vehicles while caring for their 2-year-old grandson Henry Pascoe of Carver.

“He just loves cars; absolutely loves cars,” Jill said. “We come to Steamboat Days once in a while but we’re here today because Henry just loves cars.”

While many people took advantage of the car show and food trucks downtown, there were plenty of others taking advantage of the numerous garage sales around the city.

“I’m the chauffeur,” Avery Thompson said with a smile while leaning against his truck parked near one of the garage sales in the Carver Bluffs area. “I go where I’m told to go and pack things in the truck after my wife’s bought a few things.

“I truly enjoy doing it with her; really,” he added. “She likes exploring and checking out things that we or others might need, but it’s more of a social event I think. It’s fun to get out and see others and it gives us a lot to talk about.”

"I think people feel a great sense of belonging in Carver. Being able to get outside and enjoy an experience in the same place, which obviously hasn't been possible this year for many events, brought excitement and happiness to the folks that stopped downtown," said Steamboat Days Chair Kristy Mock.

"It was fun to see families and friends out walking and viewing the vehicles, and stopping at our vendors and our other small businesses in Carver."

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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