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Finding Minnesota: Wurst Day

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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MAHTOWA, MINN. (WCCO) – When you meet Tom Bislow at his mustard-colored store, get ready for the wurst jokes.

“Oh you’ve never sausage a place,” said Bislow with a smile.

He has the wurst decorations, the wurst weather station (an oversized bratwurst posing as a weather vane), and he drives the Wurst Bus to his big catered events.

“We can do anything with wurst,” said Bislow. “But we’re the best!”

Bislow’s business, TJ’s Country Corner, sells more than 30,000 pounds of wurst each year – sausages, brats and jerky.

Now he’s getting ready for the Brat Trot and Teenie Wienie Run, as part of Wurst Day.

“Just a fun day,” said Bislow. “We have the wurst band. It’s a three-piece band that plays polka music.”

Wurst Day also attracts some of the best eaters.

Local farmer Mike Salzer is the reigning champ of sausage eating in Mahtowa.

“They’ve got some delicious sausage here,” said Salzer.

He’s competed three times and has not been beaten yet.

“I’ve eaten eight and three quarters buns and sausages in five minutes,” said Salzer. “I just have a lot of volume.”

Wurst Day is Tom Bislow’s effort to get some attention for his little community.

“The town site itself is maybe fifty people,” said Bislow.

TJ’s is the only store in town.

But Bislow draws hundreds of people to several different events and keeps them coming back for more.

“We bring people to town to try our sausage and they like it and they buy it,” said Bislow.

Among the other events TJ’s will host this year: Folksfest, Oktoberfest in July, a Rat Rod Rally and Carlton County’s biggest chicken swaps.

Wurst Day is Saturday, May 26, starting at 11 a.m.

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