by ADAM GRUENEWALD
Organizers are gearing up for the 13th annual Glad Days celebration in Cologne, set for July 24-26.
After finding success last year with the addition of events on Thursday, Cologne Lions President Betsy Pysick said those events will continue. Thursday events kick off with a 7 p.m. Garden Party at City Square Park with wine and craft beer tasting, cheese samples and the “Glad You Are My Neighbor Contest.”
Community members can nominate a yard or garden that they think is especially nice looking by 4 p.m. on July 24 by giving submissions to KleinBank or Security Bank in Cologne or texting their neighbor’s yard number to 22333.
On Friday, the familiar Kids Fest activities, which remain free, will be at City Square Park at 6 p.m. Under a “Disney” theme, Kids Fest will feature a free hot dog dinner, bounce houses, fire truck rides, games and movies. “Frozen” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. with “Percy Jackson” being shown afterwards. Also, the Rum Runners Band from Belle Plaine will start playing at 7 p.m.
The beer garden will be open along with food vendors and dunk tank. Lions Park will also open their food shack and beer garden for the start of the men’s softball tournament at 5 p.m.
The fun continues on Saturday with annual 5K and Kids Fun Run and Kids Pedal Pull as well as kickball, beanbag and Sheep-head tournaments. Also, filling in the day will be bingo, bounce houses, dunk tank, beer garden and food vendors.
The Petting Zoo, sponsored by the Benton Hill Toppers, will be at 10 a.m., with the Zoo Mobile visiting at 11 a.m., along with Brian the Magician at 1 p.m. Musically, under the tent this year will be Nancy Buckentine at 10 a.m., DJ at 4 p.m. along with demonstrations from local business.
The Timberworks Lumber Jack Show, who have performed at the Minnesota State Fair, return this year with three shows at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The act includes log rolling, pole climbing, axe throwing, chainsaw carving and more.
New this year is an old-fashioned handsaw/cross cut contest for people to show off in between shows as well as a “Cologne Has Talent Show” under the tent from 2 to 3 p.m. If you think you can sing, dance, twirl, make people laugh, play an instrument or just about anything, organizers want to see it. Sign up at the information table the day of the event.
Another new event is the a women’s slow-pitch softball tournament on Saturday at Fritz Field and Lions Park is open all Saturday with the men’s softball tournament, beer garden and food.
Another change for the weekend will be to have the dance Saturday night under the tent at City Square Park starting a 7 p.m. with Blurred Vision concluding festivities at Lions Park, playing from 8 p.m. to midnight.
“We are excited about our 13th year of Glad Days and hope for good weather and lots of community support,” said Pysick. “Our sponsors have been amazing already this year and we could not do this without them.”
For more information, email [email protected] or visit Glad Days on Facebook or at http://www.cologneGladdays.embarqspace.com.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at [email protected]