15th Rhubarb Fest planned

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Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News (From left): Rockton Township Historical Society Secretary and Publicity Chair Linda Sonneson, Vice President Judy Bates and President Marilyn Mohring hold rhubarb goodies. The 15th Annual Rhubarb Fest will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 22 at its new location at the Rockton Community Center.

ROCKTON - With a bumper crop of rhubarb this spring and willing spirits, three women are hoping to sell enough rhubarb for a new roof at the Rockton Township Historical Society.

"Most people want diamonds, we want a roof," said Secretary and Publicity Chair Linda Sonneson.

"This is an extremely important Rhubarb Fest for us," said Vice President Judy Bates.

The 15th Annual Rhubarb Fest to benefit the Society will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 22. Due to construction, the Fest will be moving to a new location this year - The Rockton Community Center, 302 W. Main St. At the newly expanded location, rhubarb fans will not have to wait in line for their favorite spring treat. Everyone's invited to the festival which features fresh rhubarb by the pound and every variation of rhubarb delight.

"I have chocolate rhubarb brownies, strawberry rhubarb bars, upside-down cakes and regular coffee cakes," Bates said.

"I've made rhubarb blueberry coffee cake," Society President Marilyn Mohring said. "Black raspberry rhubarb crisps will be made fresh on Monday."

Rhubarb Fest typically attracts 100 to 150 people. There are oodles of made-from-scratch rhubarb goods available for purchase. The event is the main fundraiser for the Society. Members and friends of the society have been busy baking rhubarb cakes, pies, breads as well as rhubarb cupcakes, cookies, muffins, upside-down cakes and more.

With four cups of rhubarb per one pie, it takes plenty of raw material and hard work to produce the many rhubarb goodies. Fortunately, the women said the rhubarb crop is bountiful this year.

"They have big fluffy leaves, and nice red stalks" Sonneson said.

"Mine is bigger and better than it's ever been," Mohring said.

It takes Bates a month to make all her creations.

"You learn how to make every moment count," Bates said.

For more information contact Bates at 815-629-2210.

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