Mountain Iron’s Merritt Days needs volunteers ASAP

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 3:45 PM CDT
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MT. IRON, MN. (Northern News Now) - The seven Iron Brothers who discovered iron ore near Mountain Iron were really five brothers and two cousins. Number one brother was always considered Leonidas.

“It was 1890 when iron ore was first discovered by the Merritt Brothers, Leonidas Merritt who this festival is named after,” said Jason Gellerstedt of the organizing committee.

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Jason Gellerstedt is talking about Merritt Days, Mountain Iron’s annual celebration of mining and Leonidas Merritt.

“Of course, his statue stands in front in the town and I know we are going to be honoring and dedicating that statue during Merritt Days.” said Kim Johnson of the organizing committee.

Events include live music, kid’s activities and car shows plus much more.

“We have a 5K race we always do and there’s a pancake feed before that that the Legion sponsors.” said committee member Karen Kniefel.

This year’s Merritt Days will roll out in August. They have a fair number of financial sponsors right now but are very shy of volunteers. And, there is much work left to be done.

“There’s a lot that goes into it, we start pretty early in the year making sure we have ample committee members because you know it’s all volunteer work.” said Gellerstedt.

At the moment, there are fewer than ten volunteer workers signed up to put on the whole event. Jason Gellerstedt hopes many more pitch in and help keep his mother Marcie’s favorite project going. Before she passed away, she was a huge part in taking care of Merritt Days.

Mountain Iron is home to the first iron mine on the Mesabi Range
Mountain Iron is home to the first iron mine on the Mesabi Range(kbjr)

“Absolutely, it’s not just taking care of it, it’s making sure that Mountain Iron is still on the map.”

Potential volunteers are urged to check out an organizing committee meeting. They are held every Tuesday at 6 pm in the commons of Mountain Iron - Buhl High School. Merritt Days will held August 9-12.

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