Hortense Waller, head of the local Flag Ironing League, is seen here practicing at home for this weekend’s Extreme Ironing Finals at the Horse and Assembly Center (HAAC) in Hormel. The event, which runs until Monday, is expected to draw contestants from as far as Disfigure to the north and Shilltown to the east, and will feature a host of the state’s best talent.
But though Waller’s won four cups in the last eight years she remains apprehensive. “I ‘spect we’ll see a lotta competion from them hoodwinks in Stateline an’ Vermouth,” she said. “They’all go fer them daredevil tactics an’ high wire stunts. But ya cain’t beat good ol’ straight-up surfin.’ Back to the basics, that’s what I always says. An’ I been sayin’ it afore them younguns got so fer out o’ hand.”
Out of hand may be putting it mildly.
By five o’clock, traffic was snarled five miles to the Hormel exit and Down County Highway Patrol had already reported six accidents.
In Vermouth, constestants snagged any transportartion they could find including unicycles.
Some even took to the water, like this Watersbad Canyon gal who braved the Miasma Rapids to hitch a ride from the Tanwater Park Road.
The event may even get international attention. The Uzbek Gazette is said to be sending a reporter as is the Venezuelan Vendetta, which is covering the event from a humanitarian angle.
Ironing begins promptly at 8pm on Friday night. Tickets are $25 at the door.