In Fairmont: Fest, fireworks

FAIRMONT – A festival at Heritage Acres during the day, followed by an evening of fireworks will continue Independence Day traditions on Friday in Fairmont.

This will mark the 34th year of the annual Heritage Acres Fourth of July festival, but there are two changes this year. Unlike previous events, there is no admission charge for this year’s music festival and family fun day, but donations are welcomed.

Also, a new attraction will be Market Square, with vendors who make their own merchandise, according to Jerry Simon of Heritage Acres board.

The event will be held rain or shine, with gates opening at 10 a.m.

“All the buildings will be open, and all the music is indoors,” Simon said.

Three acts will perform this year, with Steve Lang kicking off the musical program at 11 a.m. Barefoot Becky and the Ivanhoe Dutchmen will perform at noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and Bud Berhow will entertain at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Food stands will open at 11 a.m., and various menus will be available.

For youngsters, there will be a pedal tractor pull at 1:30 p.m. Throughout the Heritage Acres grounds, there will be games for kids, face painting, the Balcom petting zoo and train rides all afternoon.

John Grunzke of Wells will offer horse-and-wagon rides, and there will be a blacksmithing demonstration.

Holiday revelers will have a chance to relax after the festival prior to the annual fireworks display, starting about 10 p.m.

Fairmont Fire Department will be in charge of the pyrotechnic display for the 21st year. As in past years, the fireworks will be shot from the west shore of Lake Sisseton.

According to Roger Carlson of the fire department, the bike trail will be closed and barricaded about 9 p.m., in compliance with federal regulations.

“We’re also asking for a no-wake zone on the lake by 8 p.m.,” Carlson said.

Some of the fireworks will be set up near the shoreline, and with the lake levels so high, even a small wake could dampen the material.

The fire department is the biggest contributor to the display, using money from its charitable gambling fund and the aluminum can recycling trailer at the mall, but other entities also have donated.

“The actual value of the show is about $27,000,” Carlson said. However, pre-paying and having a three-year contract with the supplier reduces the cost to about $20,000.

Donations for the fireworks can be sent to the fire department at P.O. Box 427, Fairmont, MN 56031. For more information, call Carlson at (507) 236-5056.