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Swampy Days gears up for good times this weekend

BIGELOW -- With perhaps the most unusually named festival in the region, the residents of Bigelow are putting the finishing touches on their 13th annual Swampy Days, set for Friday and Saturday.

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Events get underway Friday with the annual horseshoe tournament in the City Park. Organizer Krista Svalland said there is still plenty of room for two-person teams to register. The competition is open to those ages 16 and older, and there is an entry fee.

"This has been every year of Swampy Days -- it's huge," Svalland said, adding that the horseshoe pit is typically filled with people.

Pre-registration is required by 6 p.m. Friday by calling Svalland at 360-1947.

Just as the horseshoe tournament begins, supper will be served in the park by the members of the Bigelow Booster Club. On the menu are hamburgers, chips, cole slaw and a fruit salad. Proceeds from the supper are used as a fundraiser to fix up the park and do activities throughout the year for the children in the community.

At 7:30, people are invited to get in on the Bingo fun with cash prizes awarded to the winners. All ages are welcome.

On Saturday, the concession stand will open at 8 a.m. and continue through the day, with numerous activities planned in the city park.

At 9:30 a.m., registration begins for Goofy Golf and the Bean Bag Toss. Participants must be ages 10 and older for either event. Play begins at 10 a.m., to coincide with games in the park for all children.

Svalland said there will be mud tug-of-war, balloon toss, egg toss and gunny-sack races.

"We're just doing old-time activities," she said, adding that townspeople have pulled together to plan the events.

The games in the park will continue until noon, when the big-boy toys will be brought out.

At noon, registration begins for the annual Swampy Days Central Plains Truck Pull in the park. Co-organizer Lori Donkersloot anticipates seeing a number of repeat contenders for this year's pull.

Rules state that participants have a valid driver's license.

"Most of them just bring the truck they drive on the road," Donkersloot said.

Capping off the 13th annual Swampy Days will be a street dance featuring the band Sideline, which will play at the Bigelow Fire Hall from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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