By Paul Downer
By Paul Downer
Cologne is gearing up for its biggest weekend of the year, as Glad Days rolls around this Friday and Saturday, July 27-28.
Festivities actually get started on Thursday, July 26 with citywide garage sales, but the weekend starts in earnest on Friday evening with the eight-team kickball tournament on Fritz Field at 6 p.m., the softball tournament and food/beer garden at Lions Park from 6 to 10 p.m. and the main event – Kid Fest – at Marion Field beginning at 7 p.m.
Kid Fest has the theme "Halloween Town" this year, and includes a kiddie parade at 7 p.m. with a costume contest for all ages and prizes for the best parade entry. The lineup for the parade will be at Meadow Street and Gold Nugget.
Other favorite features of Kid Fest will return again this year, including bounce houses, fire truck rides, a wide variety of games and crafts, appearances by Carver County Dairy Princesses, a hot dog dinner and a movie at dusk.
New to the Friday night activities this year are a number of events specifically for teens. Organizers have been looking to engage that age group for a few years now, and have come up with a slate of activities including a hayride and bonfire, a GPS hunt and a bean bag tournament. Volunteers are still needed to help with those events, and anyone interested can contact Betsy Pysick at 466-2841.
Glad Days resumes with bright and early 8 a.m. starts to the softball tournament at Lions Park and resumption of the kickball tournament at Fritz Field.
The center of activity on Saturday is City Square Park, where registration opens for the kids’ pedal pull and the 5K run at 8:30 a.m. The pedal pull and 5K begin at 9 a.m., and a fun run for the kids follows at 10 a.m.
Also beginning at 9 a.m. is the entry process for flowers in the fire hall (with judging to follow at noon) and a sheephead tournament that runs until noon.
At 11:30 a.m. the Heads or Tails contest takes place in the tent, and the Cologne area’s new LEO Club will host extreme bingo from 1 to 3 p.m. The always-popular toilet races, including both adult and kids’ classes, begin at 2 p.m.
Aside from those specific events, a variety of activities will take place at the park throughout the day, including more fire truck rides, a petting zoo, dairy princess appearances, food and vendors, a dunk tank and the inflatable fun zone. A $5 day pass for the fun zone will be available in the tent.
Attractions under the tent during the day include magician Brian Richards at 10:30 a.m., music by Nancy Buckentine and Friends at noon, polka fun with Jerry Kahle and Lowell Schubert at 2:30 p.m., the Rock N Roll Wrestling show from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the announcement of raffle winners at 6 p.m.
Other special events during the day include a bean bag tournament at Lions Park from 1 to 3 p.m. and a paper, scissors, rock tournament near the Cologne Academy booth.
Glad Days concludes with the annual dance from 8 p.m. to midnight at Lions Park, featuring music by Blurred Vision. Tickets are available from Cologne Lions members.
For more details on the event, see the Glad Days website at www.colognegladdays.embarqspace.com.