Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Cokato Winter Ice Carnivals." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1998) vol. 18 no. 1.
Cokato Winter Carnival Speed Skating Competition in Peterson Park.
When most people think of Cokato festivals, the Corn Carnival usually comes to mind. But in Minnesota, as the St. Paul Winter Carnival has shown, those cold months of December through February can be fertile ground for some fun times. So in December 1939, when members of the Cokato Association for Public Affairs (a forerunner of the Cokato Chamber of Commerce) proposed some sort of winter festival for Cokato, nobody found it an odd idea.
Museum Staff, "The Fire Chief's Worst Fire," Firefighters to the Rescue A Century of Fires in Cokato, 1896-1996 (Cokato Historical Society, 1996) 39-40.
Cokato Hotel Fire, June 8, 1977.
Being a volunteer fireman for 31 years is quite a record. Lyle Severson became a fireman at the age of 23 at the urging of his father-in-law, Eldon Wessman, who was a fireman. He served as chief from 1976 to 1981. As long as he is able to pass the yearly physical, he wants to continue on the department, especially since he and Alvie Cole are vying for a friendly record of service.
His biggest challenge was the Cokato Hotel fire. The alarm came in about 2:30 a.m. on June 8, 1977. By noon the structure was ready to collapse. Firefighters were on the scene until that afternoon when the scene was turned over to investigation by the state fire marshal's office. It was a traumatic time since five lives were lost. He knew the victims as good old guys who lived in the only affordable housing for single people at the time.
Mike Worcester, Cokato Historical Society "In the Midst Of." (September, 2017) Vol 37, No. 4.
Troll In, originally located on Broadway next to city hall.
On election day 2006, the voters of Cokato shocked many, including themselves, by approving a ballot issue which allowed the city to issue licenses for the sale of strong beer, wine, and liquor. It brought to an end the status of Cokato being a “dry” town, a legacy dating back over ninety years.
We’ve written before about how Cokato became a dry town and what that meant. Our purpose here is to note how even with that dry status, area residents could buy beer at what were called “3.2 joints”.
Once National Prohibition ended in Minnesota in early 1933, the 3.2 establishments could apply for licenses. Many did over the years. By 2007 when the city was given the authority to issue licenses for strong beverages, only one was left, Nelson’s Bar & Grill, on Millard Avenue.