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Willmar Fests 2013: Wisconsin couple wins Willmar Amazing Race

Charlie Koch of Minneapolis, left, paints a colorful pattern Thursday on Diana Rodriguez’s cheek during the annual downtown Willmar Fests Block Party. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR -- Even with temperatures soaring into the 90s, the Willmar Fests Block Party was still the place to be Thursday evening, and for one lucky couple, it was a way to win $150.

The Willmar Jaycees and 94.1 The Loon ran the Willmar Amazing Race challenge for the second year, with Paul and Shayla Blaschko, of Milwaukee, Wis., emerging as the winning team. The Blaschkos competed against four other two-person teams for the $150 cash prize.

There were six clues competitors had to solve, and just like the TV show "Amazing Race," each challenge had to be completed before they received the next clue.

Challenges included finding Willmar City Council member Steve Ahmann, eating doughnuts, a hot dog, a taco, a loaded potato, a snow cone and fry bread, counting the number of times the word Kandiyohi was on a specific sign and counting the number of legs in the pony ring.

This was the Blaschkos first time competing in an "Amazing Race"-style competition, but since they're in town supporting Shayla Blaschko's sister, who is a Willmar Fests ambassador candidate, they decided they should take part in all the festivities.

"We were going to do the Foot Lake Four race, but we decided this was easier," Shayla Blaschko said.

Paul Blaschko said this race could be just a warm-up for the future.

"I think we're ready for the real 'Amazing Race' now," Blaschko said. "We're competitive and we like scavenger hunts."

Nancy Stredde, a Jaycees alumni, said she got the idea for the race when she was helping plan last year's block party.

"I watch the show, and I thought it'd be fun to do here," Stredde said. "All of the challenges just come from the different things that go on at the Block Party."

Earlier in the evening, the new junior ambassadors were chosen in a drawing. The 2013 Junior Princess is Lakyia Gustafson, daughter of Amanda Sietsema, and the 2013 Junior Prince is Dalton Adolphson, son of Kelly Adolphson and Kenneth Adolphson Jr.