National Pheasant Fest 2010 is just days away. As you may imagine, it’s occupying most of the gray matter in my mind. Here are a few Pheasant Fest tidbits to help you win the random radio trivia contest or office water cooler face off.
· 111,272 people have attended the first five National Pheasant Fest events beginning with Bloomington, Minnesota’s 2003 event.
· Brett Favre was the 100,000 Pheasant Fest attendee in Madison, Wisconsin last year . . . just kidding, we actually have no idea of the true identity of attendee #100,000. To the best of our knowledge, Brett Favre has yet to attend a National Pheasant Fest.
· The first day Pheasant Fest was ever held in 2003 was my fifth day of employment at Pheasants Forever.
· Until 2008, Pheasants Forever held Pheasant Fest every other year.
· The very first Pheasant Fest Bird Dog Parade was held in the Des Moines skyway system in 2007. That year’s grand marshall was Bryan Karrick of KCCI News Channel 8, Des Moines’ CBS affiliate. Bryan and his black Lab, Chase, will return to lead the 2010 parade.
· Iowa boasts 104 Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever chapters; the most of any state. To grab the top membership spot away from Minnesota, Pheasants Forever volunteers in Iowa are striving to enroll 4,953 new members at Pheasant Fest in 2010.
· USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to speak this Saturday of the Fest. Secretary Vilsack will become the third Ag Secretary to attend Pheasant Fest. Mike Johanns attended the Des Moines event in 2007 and Chuck Connor attended the Saint Paul event in 2008.
· Des Moines marks the first time Pheasant Fest returns to the exact same city and exact same venue (Iowa Events Center).
· Only one Pheasant Fest has been held during a state’s current pheasant season. Pheasant Fest 2005 in Omaha occurred during the final weeks of Nebraska’s pheasant season.
· Marian Gaborik (Former Minnesota Wild, current New York Ranger, and current Slovakian Olympian) checked out Pheasant Fest prior to the show’s opening in 2008 with a Slovakian television crew. No word on whether that footage ever made it to air.
· The daily temperatures of most of the previous five Pheasant Fests have not only been below freezing, they’ve mostly been below zero. BUNDLE UP!
· NFL Hall of Fame Coach Bud Grant attended the 2008 National Pheasant Fest.
· Tom Osborne, famed University of Nebraska football coach and former U.S. Congressman, attended National Pheasant Fest 2005 in Omaha.
· To our knowledge, no former American Idol contestant has ever attended National Pheasant Fest. We’re okay with that.
· Since 2005’s Fest in Nebraska, over 1,000 attendees have visited the Landowner Habitat Help Room. Pheasants Forever and partner biologists have evaluated 65,000 acres for habitat improvements during those visits.
· State Acres For wildlife Enhancement (SAFE or CP 38), CRP’s youngest practice, was officially announced for the first time at Pheasant Fest 2008 in Saint Paul.
What will be the interesting tidbits to arise during Pheasant Fest 2010 in Des Moines? Join us in Des Moines to find out. www.PheasantFest.org