In pursuit of happiness and fun for this BP cop
He’s back at it again.
While officer Dan Peach is known to make arrests while patrolling the streets of Blooming Prairie, he’s also got a soft side to him that has never shown more than in the past nine months.
First it was a pumpkin patch, then it was Clark Griswold and the Christmas holidays, followed by a lover’s corner for Valentine’s Day. Now flowers are being thrown into the mix.
Yep, Peach unveils his latest venture this week at the old Bakery corner in downtown Blooming Prairie. This time it’s called “Blossoms in the Prairie.” How appropriate for a community widely known for being the Awesome Blossoms.
“We need a flower theme to go with spring,” Peach said. “I did not want it to be an empty lot for the spring and summer.”
Peach’s father, Jeff, who owns B to Z Hardware, purchased the empty lot next to his store after the Bakery burned down in January 2020. Since then, it has given the younger Peach a chance to flourish with his creative side.
“I want to brighten up the downtown area,” said Peach, who moved to Blooming Prairie about five years ago. “I want to make the downtown blossom.”
Even though Peach grew up in Owatonna, he said he has always felt like Blooming Prairie is his hometown. He often came to the hardware store as a kid to help out his father.
B to Z has offered flowers in a small greenhouse next to the lot for several years. This year will be no exception. There will be spring flowers, vegetables and plants. A long-time family friend, Bill Souba, of Souba’s Greenhouse in Owatonna, has been supplying the flowers for years.
But Peach has taken things one step further by sprucing up the empty lot with more flowers and offering games for kids to play while their parents shop.
Some of the offerings include Bounce House, Gnome Ring Toss, Connect Four, Checkers, Tic Tac Toe and flower-themed cut-outs to take photographs.
Peach admits his latest venture isn’t quite as interactive as the Christmas display was. He hopes it will still capture the hearts of area children looking to do something in a world that COVID-19 has shut down.
While the display is open, folks will get their first big chance to see Peach’s creation on Saturday, May 8 for a special event, Mother’s Day on Main Street. The event is geared toward women and guys buying items for Mother’s Day.
Asked about his long-range plans for the empty lot, Peach said he wants to expand by building a 30-by-96-foot greenhouse next to the hardware store.
It’s anybody’s guess what Peach will come up with next. It’s encouraging to see someone with young blood trying to keep the community moving in a positive direction.
Peach is showing how life doesn’t have to be solely focused on going in hot pursuit of criminals. He is a shining example of someone in hot pursuit of happiness and fun as well.
Photo: Dan Peach of Blooming Prairie has converted the empty Bakery lot into a flower bed for adults to purchase flowers and kids to play games this spring. This is Peach’s fourth attempt to spruce up Blooming Prairie’s Main Street over the past nine months.