Golden retriever is ‘elected’ Dorset mayor – Park Rapids Enterprise

A healthy, 3-year-old Golden retriever from Bemidji is the new mayor of Dorset.

“Bear” Mohlin’s name was randomly plucked from the ballot box on Sunday, Aug. 6.

Bob Kvitne, co-owner of Meadowbrook Gifts, oversaw the election at Taste of Dorset.

The only requirements were a full name and telephone number on the ballot, along with $1. Candidates could buy their way into office by dropping $1 with their nomination in shoe boxes and mayonnaise jars located throughout the village of Dorset.

Kvitne thanked everyone for their participation, adding, “The Dorset Business Association would like to thank all past mayors for their distinguished services. The DBA also wishes great success to the outgoing mayor, Evan Johnson, for his entrepreneurial endeavors.”

During his time as mayor, Johnson promoted the Children’s Cancer Center. He’s also created a GoFundMe page to build a sandbox in the village.

Taste of Dorset is an annual feast in the self-described “Restaurant Capital of the World.” This year’s theme was “Get Your Fix on Minnesota 226.”


Jo Bash digs into nachos after taste-testing other goodies at Taste of Dorset.

Shannon Geisen/Enterprise

Jo Bash lives in Omaha, Neb., but has an aunt who lives in Park Rapids. “She’s 101. She always comes” to Taste of Dorset, Bash said.

They sampled a variety of foods.

“I’ve had the beer. I’ve had mahi mahi taco and ice cream and a pork-chop-on-a-stick for dinner to-go tonight because this isn’t going to be enough,” she said.


Deanna and Gary Norman try walleye-on-a-stick at 218 Venture Bar & Eatery, Dorset’s newest restaurant.

Shannon Geisen/Enterprise

Deanna and Gary Norman live in White Bear Lake, but their Big Sand Lake cabin that they bought in 1980 is their home away from home.

They’ve been to quite a few Taste of Dorset festivals. They brought one grandchild this year.

“It’s inexpensive fun,” Deanna said. “I can give him a $5 bill and he could make it last.”


Cam Hartig serves the popular spaghetti ball, a creation of La Pasta Italian Eatery. A flaky, puffed pastry shell encompasses spaghetti and a meatball.

Shannon Geisen/Enterprise

Roy Schemmel slurped a towering brownie S’more ice cone. He didn’t know if the generous helping was a triple or double decker. “I think she likes me,” he quipped.

When visitors had their fill of strawberry margaritas, cheese curds or corn-on-the-cob, they could play games or shop. Crayfish or minnow races were offered by the Dorset General Store.

Kara McLaughlin brought her sons, Matthew and Conor, to Dorset. They experienced crayfish racing on Sunday. Kara recalled doing minnow races as a kid. Her parents have a cabin on Little Sand Lake. The McLaughlins visit every summer.


Conor McLaughlin, 6, and brother Matthew, 9, tied in their crayfish race. They’re visiting from Colorado.

Shannon Geisen/Enterprise

The Dorset Business Association organizes the festival.


This is Ashley Pyburn’s fourth summer working at Taste of Dorset. She dishes up nachos for Companeros’ diners.

Shannon Geisen/Enterprise

Kvitne said, “The town was active.”

He noticed that visitors stuck around after a 20-minute rain shower and even after the event concluded at 3 p.m.

“It turned out to be a pleasant afternoon. I think it went really well,” Kvitne said.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.


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