Summer abounds with celebrations
The solstice makes it official Monday — the day is the first of summer 2010.
As always, summer’s entrance is followed in Mower County by a host of annual festivals. This listing of area summer celebrations details what happens when, what it’s all about and where to find it.
When: June 25-27
Where: Grand Meadow
Meadowfest 2010 opens this week with a beer garden downtown that will be held all three days of the festival, complete with live music and karaoke. A magician will perform for children at the community center at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Meadowfest car show returns this year on Saturday. A chicken fry is featured at 11 a.m. followed by the parade at 2 p.m.
A pool tournament will be held each day at Grumpy’s South Side Saloon.
Events continue Sunday with an ecumenical church service and a dinner. There will also be a kickball tournament and a bean bag bash at the beer garden.
Independence Day Celebration
When: June 25-27
The weekend before the Fourth of July, Lyle celebrates the city’s Independence Day Celebration.
“It’s geared toward the family and everything is free,” said city clerk Diana Stone.
A DynoTune horsepower rating makes festivities official Friday night, and it’s held again Saturday night. A city dinner takes place from 5 to 9 p.m., followed by a bean bag tournament at the Lyle liquor store.
On Saturday, a truck and tractor show takes place south of town on Highway 218 for the second year. The mud bog races will be in the same place at 1 p.m. Sunday.
New this year is a three-on-three basketball tournament Saturday morning. The Lyle Classic Car show will be held from 10 am. to 4 p.m. A street dance featuring Rock Dawgs will be at the legion at 8 p.m.
The grand parade at noon highlights a busy Sunday that will also include a talent show, the Little Miss Lyle competition and water fights at the fire hall.
Fireworks at dusk Sunday wrap up the weekend.
Spamtown USA Freedom Fest
When: July 2-4
Where: Various Austin locations
The 25th anniversary of Spamtown USA Freedom Fest — organized by the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce — takes place this year with more than 20 hours of music and dancing, two nights of fireworks, a parade, carnival games and more.
Jeff Baldus, the festival’s director, has said the Fourth of July festivities will stick to their tried and true themes this year.
“Twenty-five years is quite a milestone,” Baldus said. “The name has changed over the years, but the theme remains the same — the festival celebrates family, community and country.”
This year’s schedule kicks off Friday, July 2, at Torge’s Live where the Austin Jaycees present their annual street dance. Four bands — two inside and two out — perform from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Plan B, Chris Hawkey, Seed and Daisy Head Mazy number among those on the bill.
The next day begins with the Austin Morning Lions hosting their annual Fly-In Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Austin airport.
Also Saturday, sporting events begin with the 5-Mile Hog Jog and Kid’s Fishing Contest at East Side Lake. The recreation is followed by the 25-mile Dan Ulwelling Bike Race.
Bandshell Community Park is the center for most other events during the weekend. Stage entertainment includes Brandon Sampson of Six Mile Grove, The Toonies, The Sylvan Johnson Band, Bissen Brothers Band, Austin Community Band, Band San Augustin, Plan B Acoustic and more. Food concessions, carnival games, arts and crafts, a Power Pedal Pull, Pickett’s Circus and a children’s parade also take place in the park.
The Fourth of July Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Main Street.
Fireworks displays cap off activities July 3 and 4.
For a complete schedule of events, go to www.austincoc.com or call 437-4561.
Fourth of July Celebration
When: July 3-4
Where: Blooming Prairie
Blooming Prairie hosts its own Independence Day festivities — complete with watermelon spitting and hog calling contests — which coincide with Austin’s events.
Chamber director Becky Noble said Blooming Prairie’s Fourth of July Celebration is a nice time to bring the families together.
“We call it the old fashioned Fourth of July,” Noble said.
July 3 is full of family events. An ice cream social takes place at the city park along with puppet and magic shows. There will also be food vendors most of the weekend.
A reunion for Blooming Prairie High School graduates will be set up in the park over the weekend.
Following park events, there will be a street dance for people 21 and older on Main Street. A teen dance will be held at the serviceman’s club. Both begin at 8 p.m.
July 4th starts with a Lion’s pancake breakfast outside Prairie Manor from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Other events include a antique tractor show, a kickball tournament, an Awesome Blossom fun run and Sweet Ride’s Car and Bike Show.
As mentioned above, after a hiatus, the watermelon spitting and hog calling contests are slated to return this year.
A parade is at 2:30 p.m. on the Fourth. The fireworks are follow at about 10 p.m. at Victory Field.
When: July 9-11
Where: Rose Creek
Fun Days in Rose Creek kick off Friday, July 9, with the sixth annual Black Sox Kickball Tournament.
“It’s a fun weekend. We look forward to it every year,” said Wendy Landherr, who helps organize the festival.
A dance highlights Saturday’s events. The band Hair Ball will perform 1980s songs from bands like Bon Jovi and Poison.
The fireman’s supper is scheduled Saturday. Along with a bean bag tournament, there will also be basketball games and horseshoes on Saturday. A number of events are scheduled for the youth, including a kiddie parade, a medallion hunt and a pedal pull.
The firemen’s water fight will be held Sunday.
When: July 16-18
Brownsdale Fest will give area residents a chance to remember bus trips to the Brownsdale Roller Rink.
A group has started a Facebook page to promote a reunion Saturday night for the people who used to travel to the rink on buses.
The weekend starts with a car show at 6 p.m. July 16. Later that night, there will be a karaoke contest by Bring It DJ Sound at the fire hall.
The festival continues with a firefighters’ breakfast Saturday morning. Most of the events will center around the fire hall. All weekend, there will be giant inflatables, a beer garden and a $3 special at the roller rink.
Saturday will feature a kids pedal pull, bean bag tournaments and water wars. A hog roast will be held from 4 to 8 p.m.
Organizer Dave Pike said it’s a good weekend to get the community together and have a good time.
Greenway Co-Op will be offering a full service filling station during the weekend. Partners in Education will also hold a benefit car wash on Saturday.
From 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, there will be a dance featuring Rocket Dawgs.
Events end Sunday with the 4-H 5-kilometer run/walk.
When: July 16-18
LeRoy’s Summerfest kicks off July 16 with a benefit supper, a variety show at the school and free family movie at the library.
A sprint triathlon will be held Saturday morning. Only the first 100 people to sign up can participate. South City park will be the hub for most of the Summerfest events Saturday. All day Saturday, there will be a flea market, craft tables, food stands, garden club tours and a volleyball tournament. The car and motorcycle show will also be Saturday.
A number of events will held for the youth, including carnival games, races and water fights. On Saturday night, there will be a Windsor chop supper, followed by a street dance with the band Marshall Road.
Sunday will start with an ecumenical church service. The fireman’s chicken dinner will follow. There will also be the grand parade followed by a concert with the LeRoy Community Band and then a performance by local band LeRoy Road in the park.
When: July 23-25
Hayfield’s Hey Days will feature a variety of entertainment from circus monkeys to a Civil War era church service.
“Our goal is to have something for all ages,” said Lana Mindrup, president of the Hayfield Celebration Committee.
A new event to Hey Days this year will be a Civil War reenactment going on the whole weekend. Those participating will spend the weekend living like it’s the 1860s across from the fire hall. A doctor’s tent will be set up where they’ll show how wounded soldiers were treated. The participants will run the community worship on Sunday like a traditional 1860s service.
After a hiatus, the flea market and the car show are both returning this year. The car show will be held Sunday morning before the parade, which starts at 2 p.m. On Sunday, a drum line will perform after the parade, and there will be a show featuring circus monkeys.
Most of the events will be held at the Veteran’s Memorial Park and at the corner of Center Avenue and First Street.
The flea market, along with a carnival, will be open each day of the festival. The little princess party will return this year after it was successful last year.