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Frosh Take: Jesse James Day

Beyond the bounds of Carleton’s pearly (and squirrel-infested) gates, even beyond the expansive postmodern fortress that is the Weitz, lies Northfield. It is known not only for “colleges, cows, and contentment,” but also for the delicious $1.25 scoops of HoBros ice cream and the defeat of Jesse James. One might wonder, who is Jesse James? Isn’t that the singer of Blue Jeans? He might have sung that in his free time, but no, bank robbery was his full-time commitment.

So, as I roll up with my New Student Week group, making my way downtown, walking fast, faces pass, my curious little heart trembles in excitement and anticipation. And thus begins a frosh’s journey into the curious land of Nofo.

2:05PM: Ahh, deep fried Oreos. Deep fried cheese curds. Deep fried twinkies. God bless America, please keep deep-frying everything. This is what I left my land for. #freshman15

2:16PM: PUPPY! So many dogs everywhere. I have made it my mission to pet all puppies I see in town to make up for the severe lack of dogs on campus. Stranger danger? More like it’s dangerous how much I love all these dogs.

3:00PM: Here comes the reenactment. Semi-dramatic prologue of the terrors caused by the gang. Actors striding back and forth in period clothing. Confused toddlers running through the crowds. Over-excited moms taking way too many pictures. Gunshot, gunshot, gunshot.

Confused horses. Fallen man. I am confused. Shout out to the guy playing Jesse James who fell off his horse so gracefully. To quote Alex Bice, this reenactment was “a 30 minute buildup leading to a three-minute gun fight.” Yes, Alex, this is what real crime-fighting is about. This is CSI: Northfield.

4:05PM: Hitting up the vintage stores for the occasion. From cat tapestries to bear fur coats (with a price tag nearing $1,000 – that’s nearly 167 servings of Sayles mozzarella sticks, by the way), vintage shopping inspires me to feel that anything is possible; I just need to believe in myself enough to follow through. Why anyone would need a bear fur coat is beyond me.

4:37PM: I can hear some sweet country tunes coming from the music tent across the bridge. Yes. This is my jam. Take me to the land of emotions.

4:49PM: Slid into a henna tattoo tent and tried to chat up some cute Ole boys. We flipped through the design catalogues next to each other. The emotional connection was strong.

5:17PM: Tents start to pack up and people scatter. I end the day with a cup of vanilla mint ice cream.

5:45PM: Making my way back from the fair, I pondered my day. It was an experience. Will I be back for the food next year? Maybe. Will I be back for the reenactment? Definitely.

Good job, Northfield. Here’s to 4 years of delicious obesity, friendship, and Insta-worthy shots.

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