Snow tubing - PB & Milk

Last year, a group from Hartford, Alabama — Litchfield’s sister city — snow-tubed on Lake Manuella near Darwin during the annual Peanut Butter & Milk Festival.

The 47th annual Peanut Butter & Milk Festival will be coming back to Litchfield this weekend.

Litchfield and its sister city, Hartford, Alabama, have again collaborated to celebrate their industries. The festival is an exchange through which a group from Meeker County travels to Hartford during the first week of November to learn about the peanut and cotton industries. A group from Hartford then visits Meeker County in February to learn about the dairy industry and to enjoy winter activities in Minnesota.

The festival is usually celebrated the first full week of February. This year, the festival was pushed back on account of the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, which would have resulted in excessive airfares for the Alabama visitors, according to local organizers.

The exchange program was founded in 1971 by Bruce Cottington as part of a promotion for his Litchfield grocery store. Cottington passed away last September at the age of 90.

During their one-week visit to the Litchfield area — from Saturday, Feb. 24, through Saturday, March 3 — eight residents of Hartford will tour farms and industries in Meeker County and will enjoy outdoor winter activities.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, the public is invited to join the youth and chaperones for snowmobiling and four-wheeling at Lake Manuella on the Roger and Janet Huhn farm south of Darwin.

The public is also invited to a chili and soup feed from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Forest City Thresher’s building. Free-will donations will be collected. Social time starts at 7 p.m. and the dinner at 7:30 p.m. Bring a dish to share. A silent auction will also be held that evening, and Alabama guests will share memories from their week in Minnesota.

Geneva County High School students Emily Joiner, Julia Baker, Sarah Jane Fondren, Shane Starkel and Nicole Stewart will be the guests of Sara Shoutz, Anna Euerle, Natalie Barka, Miles Kersting and Ruby Radunz, respectively, and their chaperones – Renee Godbold and Paul and Janie Fondren – will be the guests of Don and Sue Christofferson and Bob and Betty Hermann, respectively.