Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 17, 2002

Despite vandalism, Winstock went very well, sheriff says

By Julie Yurek

"It was a good year," said McLeod County Sheriff Wayne Vinkemeier of this year's Winstock Festival.

A crowd of more than 13,000 people were in attendance for camping and country music.

With thousands of people assembled during such a large public event, law breaking is always a possibility.

This year, four portable toilets were reportedly set afire, and a wire fence that contained buffalo was completely cut open during the weekend, according to the McLeod County Sheriff's Department.

One toilet was reportedly started on fire at 11:45 p.m. June 7, two June 8, one at 1:52 p.m., the other at 7:26 p.m., and June 9, at 4:37 a.m.

Last year, there were two portable toilets set on fire, said Bonnie Quast, a Winstock Committee member.

The fires occurred in the same camping lot location each year, she said.
For this reason, the Winstock Committee is offering a substantial reward for anyone who gives information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the burnings.

Also, a fence owned by Leonard and Linda Juncewski was cut, which faces the Winstock grounds at its southern end.

Three calving buffalo and one bull buffalo are located inside the pasture where the fence was cut.

Although normally docile creatures, buffalo can be protective during the calving season, and the fence cutting incident caused concern because campers would have been in danger if the animals got loose.

Other incidents included 18 minor consumption citations; nine acts of vandalism, which included the portable toilet fires and fence cutting; five thefts, which included two coolers and a Coleman stove; two lost and found; one domestic call; one detox transport, and one person charged with two assaults.

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