IHD kicks off Friday

FAIRMONT – Interlaken Heritage Days kicks off Friday afternoon, with the fun to continue through Saturday night.

Fairmont’s city festival will feature something for all ages, from two street dances Friday and Saturday night, to Saturday afternoon’s performances by a Native American group, an actor’s portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, the Peter Wendinger German band, Shockwaves water and ski show, and much more.

At 4 p.m. Friday, two new activities will launch the weekend’s festivities. A mechanical bull and velcro wall will be set up on the corner of Downtown Plaza and First Street. The beer garden and food stand will start serving their goods at the same time, same spot.

D&S Trophies will then host the Kids Tractor Pedal Pull at 6 p.m., followed by the first street dance of the weekdn. Both street dances will run from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

“Bring your lawn chairs,” IHD chairwoman Bonnie Taplin recommended, since seating will be limited.

This year the beer garden will not be enclosed with plastic orange fences, penning people off from the street dance. Wristbands will go to people 21 and older, and police will be patrolling the area.

“The city has been fabulous,” Taplin said. “They’re all doing what needs to be done, from the park department to the police.”

Decadence Inc will play Friday. The show will be a return home for two of the band members, Gene Schott and Zak Rivers, who grew up in Fairmont.

October Road is the entertainment for Saturday’s dance. The band is categorized as “new country,” and their presence at Fairmont’s festival is an effort by organizers to entice more young adults to take part in the weekend activities.

Saturday will start with a bang, with the Fairmont Triathlon from 8 a.m. to noon at Gomsrud Park. Also slated among that morning’s activities is a pancake breakfast from 7:30-11 a.m. at St. John’s UCC.

Sylvania Park will be a busy place that day, with food and entertainment aplenty. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., families can enjoy the likes of Jim & His Remarkable Reptires, Cock-A-Doodle Zoo, Gator Alley Puppet Show, as well as bungee jumping, helicopter rides, inflatables and more.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Red Rock Center for the Arts will host Native American art projects and storytelling, with traditional drums and dancing at 1 p.m. by members of Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers, a non-profit group out of Pipestone that represents many tribes of native people.

Adults and children will have the chance to paint life-size totem pole figures created by Fairmont Junior High students, as well as make rain sticks and leather necklaces. A tipi model will be set up for children to go in and experience.

Sonja Fortune, director of the Red Rock Center for the Arts, said her goal is to bring people together through art experiences.

At 2 p.m., water and ski show fans will be flocking to the water’s edge at Ward and Sylvania parks to see Shockwaves, a group out of the Shakopee area.

“Those shows are something entire families seem to really enjoy,” Taplin said.

Other activities on Saturday include:

o Train rides, ice cream and tours of the historical Heritage Acres from 1-4 p.m.

o The Alpha & Omega Band, plus the mechanical bull, velcro wall and the beer garden starting up at 2 p.m. on Downtown Plaza.

o Peter Wendinger German Band from 3-5 p.m. at Sylvania Park.

o WWII bomber plane on display from 3-5 p.m. at Fairmont Municipal Airport.

Across town, events will halt at 5:30 p.m. for the IHD parade. Parade participants line up at this time at Heritage Acres, with the parade to start at 6:30 p.m.

The parade route begins at Heritage Acres, running east on Lake Avenue and then turning north onto Downtown Plaza. The route will conclude at Lincoln Park.

“I hope people come out and enjoy the weekend,” said Taplin, who’s praying for good weather. “There’s something for everybody to do, and we’re looking to provide a way for families to enjoy being together as a family.”