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Stearns County gets impressive pictures from photo contest

By Janet Midas

Stearns County

Public Information Specialist

Stearns County's 3rd annual summer photo contest, this year themed "Celebrations", came to a close and the top five photos have been selected. Photographers of those five pictures will win prizes.

Stearns County asked residents to submit pictures of their celebration. Photos were received of baseball games, fireworks, parades, festivals, backyard fun, family reunions, fairs, and many other great celebratory activities. Photos were received from residents across Stearns County: Paynesville, Sauk Centre, Albany, Kimball, Freeport, Avon, Sartell, New Munich, St. Cloud, and other locations as well. It was a chance for citizens to show the world how they like to celebrate in Stearns County, and it was an opportunity to promote the County on Stearns County's website.

The photographers of the top three pictures were:

• Sandy Clark, Pearl Lake/Kimball-photo: Splashing with Mama

• Jonathon Green, Kimball-photo: Chomp, taken at Kimball Days

• Karie Belling, Sartell-photo: Homerun Celebration

These three photographers won a summer celebration package worth $50, which included a thermal tote, golf toss game, bug spray, ingredients for smores, lemonade, beverage dispenser, and plates and napkins. All prizes were donated by Scheel's, Sam's Club, Walmart and Coborn's.

Two other photos were chosen in our top five. Photographers of those pictures were:

• Susan Merdan, Avon-photo: Elizabeth's Big Bass

• Kayla Schulzetenberg, Sauk Centre-photo: Fun and Prizes, at the Stearns County Fair

These two winners will each receive an annual permit to

Stearns County's Quarry Park.

Each winning picture will be featured in the photo montage on the homepage of Stearns County's web site, All the pictures submitted are displayed in the County's website photo gallery,

PhotoGallery, and in albums on the Stearns County Facebook page. All photos as well will be displayed in the Stearns County Administration Center rotunda during the weeks of Sept. 17-28. Photos could also appear in brochures and other materials promoting the County.

Images were judged on creativity, originality, photo content and relevance to the "Celebrations" contest theme. There was only one requirement, the photo needed to be taken in Stearns County.