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Bigelow sets up for 10th annual Swampy Days celebration this weekend

BIGELOW -- The 10th annual Swampy Days celebration today and Saturday in Bigelow will be themed "Building Memories," and will feature traditional Swampy Days activities and a few new ones, too.

"We're such a small community... it's just one big family. It's fun to see everybody pull together and come out and reminisce," said Connie Reitmeier, president of the Bigelow Booster Club.

In keeping with the "Building Memories" theme, participants in Friday's festivities will be able to help create a communal Memory Quilt. Individuals will write their names and dates of residence in Bigelow on fabric squares, which will then be put together with squares including images and memories of Bigelow's history.

Booster Club members plan to auction off the finished quilt.

Friday's Swampy Days activities are all located in Bigelow's park, with supper set to start at 6:30 p.m.

The horseshoe tournament also begins at 6:30 p.m. Participants can either register at 6 p.m. prior to the tournament or contact Krista Svalland at (507) 683-2213 or (507) 360-1947.

"Our horseshoe tournament... is always quite a success," Reitmeier said. "That has been something that's really been a good draw for us. We usually have 24 teams."

Bingo, another Swampy Days tradition, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Homemade apple pie and ice cream will be served during bingo.

Saturday's schedule kicks off with the volleyball tournament in the park. Eight teams have already signed up to play starting at 8 a.m.

The third annual barbecue pork cook-off begins at 8 a.m., with judging at 2 p.m. Anyone interested in participating should contact Tanya Dykstra at (507) 360-6087 to enter.

Goofy golf and bean bag tournaments are slated to begin at 10 a.m., along with games in the park for people of all ages. Some of the games will be simple -- water balloon tosses and gunnysack races -- but organizers have also planned game show-style activities.

Two bounce houses will be at the festival, an obstacle course geared toward older kids and a castle for the younger crowd.

The Central Plains Truck Pull begins at 2 p.m. at the park, and it will include some local pullers, as well as refreshments from Charlie's Fire Station Bar.

"It's kind of fun to get everybody together and see how they pull out," Reitmeier said. "They're kind of competitive with that."

The Swampy Days Dance, featuring the live music of Cold Brew will be from 8 p.m. until midnight. During the dance, prizes will be given away in a random drawing and more prizes will also be raffled off.

"And then at midnight, we say goodbye to another Swampy Days," Reitmeier said."