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Swampy Days celebration slated to begin on Friday

BIGELOW -- The ninth annual Swampy Days celebration in Bigelow is set for Friday and Saturday. Despite the construction that is continuing on Main Street, travelers shouldn't be dissuaded from making the trip.

"You won't have any problems getting to any of the festivities," assured Connie Reitmeier, Bigelow Booster Club president. "You can go straight through to the park; parking is at the school."

Festivities begin with a horseshoe competition at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Registration will begin at 6 p.m., and there will be a cash payout to the top teams. The first-place team will also get Swampy Days T-shirts.

The celebration theme is "Joining Hands for a Working Community." There will be pork and ham sandwiches, cole slaw and beverages served from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the park. Bingo will begin at 8 p.m.

New this year will be a decorating competition among the families of Bigelow. Bins and containers have been collected and used as garbage bins throughout the town. The bins will be decorated and then put on display for a People's Choice vote. Prizes will be awarded to the most popular trash bin.

The bins will be placed all over town, according to Reitmeier.

"They will help keep Bigelow spruced up," she said.

On Saturday, the activities begin with a volleyball tournament at 8 a.m. For the second year there will be a barbecue cookoff starting at 8 a.m., with judging at 1 p.m. Participants must be there at 7:30 a.m. and bring their own charcoal grill. Cooks are encouraged to make their specialties and be creative. Samples of the barbecue fare will be available for a fee.

For children, there will be games starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the park. Games will include tug-of-war, a balloon toss and other events. An inflatable attraction will also be set up.

The North Central Truck Pullers Association will host a truck pull at 2 p.m. Saturday. Anyone interested in participating should go to the east side of the park at 1 p.m.

To wrap up Swampy Days, there will be a dance in Bigelow's Fire Hall with music by Cold Brew. Raffle drawing will take place during the dance; tickets may be purchased from Bigelow Booster Club members.

"It's a simple, old-fashioned community get-together," said Rietmeier, "I am very proud of our community, and this is a way to bring us even closer."