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Farewell to Quilts Along the Trail

At last year's Quilts Along the Trail, Vicky Howard (left) and Carol Mihalchick admired the quilts in Osakis. Mihalchick, who started the event and organized it for the last 13 years, died this past winter. (Jeff Beach / Osakis Review)

Although this year's Moonshine Madness has a full lineup of events, one will be missing from the weekend.

Quilts Along the Trail will not be making an appearance this fall, and neither will its beloved founder. The annual event celebrated its 13th and final event last September before the death of Carol Mihalchick, the founder of the event. Mihalchick passed away in January after a long battle with cancer.

The event allowed visitors to take a stroll or bike ride while taking in dozens of handmade quilts along the side of the Central Lakes Trail.

"It's really unfortunate that we won't have the event because it was very unique to this area," said Moonshine Madness organizer Laura Backes. She said Moonshine Madness and Quilts Along the Trail "were really two events that went hand-in-hand together. We drew totally different crowds but yet both crowds really seemed to enjoy the whole day of events."

Backes noted that there will be quilts on display at the Quilts Along the Trail Gift Shop in the former 19th Century Store in downtown Osakis, but the traditional event is not likely to make a comeback any time soon, if ever.

"At this point, I would have to say no," she said. "The event requires so many volunteers that there would need to be a ridiculous amount of people to make it happen. As a group of volunteers, we all have our own events to take care of. The quilts along the trail is a huge undertaking. It would require a team of probably another 25 or 30 volunteers."