Activities abound for Heron Lake’s 125th celebrationHERON LAKE — After 125 years, the Heron Lake community will celebrate its quasquicentennial July 25-27.
By: Angela Lowe, Worthington Daily Globe
HERON LAKE — After 125 years, the Heron Lake community will celebrate its quasquicentennial July 25-27.
The weekend celebration, full of activities for all ages, is sure to bring excitement to the Heron Lake community. With ballgames, a teen dance, parades, a truck pull, a road race, a talent show and a street dance, there’s sure to be plenty going on.
According to Pat Stenzel, a coordinator of the quasquicentennial celebration, activities from the town’s 100th celebration are incorporated into this year’s 125th celebration.
“All the activities are open to the public,” Stenzel said. “We tried to incorporate some of the activities we did 25 years ago that the community really enjoyed.”
The weekend festivities begin on Friday evening with a community meal in the park, followed by the Miss Heron Lake and Little Mr. and Miss Heron Lake Pageant and a local band, Tranquil Chaos, performing in the park.
“The members of the band are all local guys who’ve been playing for a while,” Stenzel explained. “It’s a great opportunity for them to play for the community.”
Friday evening will conclude with a teen dance at the Heron Lake Community Center.
Bright and early Saturday morning, a road race/walk will take place in memory of Paul Fest, who was confined to a wheelchair at the age of 17 months after contracting spinal meningitis. Fest didn’t let his confinement hold him back from enjoying life. He was an active community member, participated in wheelchair basketball in college, was employed at Southwest Star Concept School — where announced and kept official scores at athletic games — and enjoyed his family, playing countless hours of basketball with nieces and nephews.
“He was a very active member of the community, and this is a great opportunity to remember him for all he’s done in this community,” Stenzel said. “We encourage everyone to participate, even those in wheelchairs, to join the walk.”
The first 72 people registered for the walk will receive a special memorial walk T-shirt, and others will receive a memorabilia T-shirt free of charge.
A pedal pull for kids ages 3-11 will begin at 10 a.m., and medallions will be given out to the winners from each class.
“Kids love the pedal pull,” Stenzel said. “It’s great to keep them entertained.”
Throughout the day, the elementary school will be open for photo gallery viewing, as well as to pick up tickets for the catered meal later in the evening. There will also be games and activities in the park for everyone to enjoy. Horseshoes, buggy rides, inflatables, an antique tractor show, mini golf, craft vendors and concessions will all be open to the public Saturday afternoon.
“We really want to make it worthwhile for everyone that comes to the celebration,” Stenzel said. “We want to keep them busy and entertained.”
As the day continues, a kiddie parade and a main parade will take place in Heron Lake at 1 p.m. Little Mr. and Miss Heron Lake will be the grand marshals of the parade and driven in a horse-drawn surrey.
Following the parade will be the Midwest Outlaw Truck Pull north of the Wildcat football fields. The truck pull is expected to be the main event that Stenzel hopes the community will attend. Stenzel mentioned how community members have watched the truck pulls for years and look forward to the trucks coming to town again.
“People really enjoy watching the truck pulls. Plus, it’s a great social gathering to catch up with old friends,” she said.
Saturday evening will conclude with a catered meal at the elementary school and a street dance on the main block in Heron Lake. The music featured at the dance will be sounds of the ’50s and ’60s with The Whitesidewalls performing at the main block in Heron Lake. The dance will last from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., and there will be seating for those who just want to sit and listen to the music.
“Music should be heard throughout the whole town for everyone to enjoy,” Stenzel said. “That way, those that aren’t able to dance can also enjoy the live band.”
As the celebration wraps up Sunday, the activities are still in full swing as the day progresses. A fireman’s pancake breakfast will be from 8 a.m.—1 p.m. at the elementary school, with an ecumenical worship service and a talent show in the park.
A raffle drawing for a Weber gas grill with accessories, a Savage 17 HRM rifle and a quilt will be given away at noon Sunday, followed by a car show with awards handed out at 3 p.m. to conclude the weekend’s festivities.
“We’re hoping to get a good turnout,” Stenzel said. “People seem to come back for big events like this, and it’s nice to see everyone after all the years.”
To commemorate the 125 years of Heron Lake, the community will sell memorabilia over the course of the weekend celebration at various locations. The memorabilia shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, key chains and glasses are all printed will the Heron Lake logo designed by Terry Stenzel.
“We just have to have good weather, and everything should run smoothly,” Stenzel said. “Then, everyone will enjoy the weekend we have planned.”