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Rock Rapids celebrates Heritage Days

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa -- Rock Rapids' Heritage Fest will kick into high gear this weekend, but a few events are beginning earlier in the week.

Artists can begin work on their entries in the Sidewalk Chalk Contest today and tomorrow; the drawings must be complete by noon Friday.

The retail community is planning a special event on Thursday, according to Rock Rapids Chamber of Commerce Director Angie Jager.

"We're going to be doing blue-light specials," she explained. "Every half hour, a different business will have a special, and there's a real blue light we're going to put in their window."

Also on Thursday, the Christian Reformed Church will have a Whopper feed from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in U.S. Bank Square. The Queen Contest begins at 7 p.m. Thursday in Forster Community Center.

New on the festival schedule is a Rib Fest, set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in Island Park.

"We have 10 vendors," said Jager. "We'll have judges, and the judges will come around and purchase bones, just like everyone else, so they won't know when they are being judged."

The general public will be able to purchase tickets, with each ticket equal to one rib bone, Jager said.

In conjunction with Heritage Days, an all-school reunion is planned every year, and it's a big draw for former residents.

"It brings in a big crowd from all over the U.S.," Jager said. "It just amazes me how far people travel for this weekend."

The weekend schedule of events is as follows:


7 to 9 a.m., community breakfast featuring Dad's Belgian Waffles, Forster Community Center

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hot Summer Deals at downtown businesses

11 a.m. to 1 p.m., United Methodist Church salad luncheon and craft sale, Forster Center

Noon to 5 p.m., Depot Museum open

1 p.m., Sidewalk Chalk Contest judging

6 p.m., Kiddy Parade, Island Park

6 to 8 p.m., Rib Fest, Island Park; events at swimming pool

6:30 p.m., Family Fun Night (inflatables)

7 p.m., Bark for Life Relay for Life Dog Event (registration 6:30 p.m.), Island Park

7:30 p.m., races, Rapid Speedway

8 p.m., River Valley Players Review, Forster Auditorium

Cruise Night, downtown


8 a.m., Road Race, 10K, 5K and 1-mile run-walk, Island Park

9 a.m., 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Central Lyon High School gym; fast-pitch tournament, Borman-Forster Ballpark

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Hot Summer Deals at downtown businesses

11 a.m., parade, downtown

Noon, concessions and food vendors, Island Park; Show & Shine, Island Park; vendor fair, Island Park; Groove Inc. performance, Island Park; Firemen Pedal Car Races, fire station alley; Brat Feed, VFW; Mr. Twister, inflatables, bumper cars, kids water boats, train rides and other attractions, Island Park

Noon to 3 p.m., tours of Rapids Theatre Building

Noon to 5 p.m., Depot Museum open

12:30 p.m., all-school reunion, Forster Center

8 p.m., River Valley Players Review, Forster Auditorium

9 p.m., street dance featuring Slamabama, downtown


10:30 a.m., community church service, courthouse square (rain site, United Methodist Church)

2 to 5 p.m., Depot Museum open

3 p.m., Frisbee golf tournament, Westside Park

Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers can be reached at 376-7327.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

(507) 376-7327