LAKEFIELD - For Lakefield-area residents, there’s no place like home.

The notorious “Wizard of Oz” phrase will theme the Jackson County community’s Summerfest celebration, which kicks off today and concludes Sunday.

Lakefield’s North City Park will host the majority of the week’s activities, including tonight’s free yoga session from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Participants should bring their own mat. Also at the park tonight will be Lakefield’s new Funday on Funk farmer’s market.

Summerfest organizers are excited for a brand new event this year. Following Saturday’s parade, goft carts will fire up for the first edition of drag races down Main Street.

“Here in Lakefield it’s legal to drive golf carts in town,” said Lakefield Summerfest Committee President Deanne Hall. “There’s a lot of people that have them, so these golf cart drag races might be interesting.”

Also new this year is Saturday’s beer and wine tasting. Wine from Painted Prairie Vineyard and craft beer can be sampled beginning at 3 p.m. at North City Park. Hall noted that the park will have themed decorations Friday and Saturday, with many photo opportunities.

While it’s not a new event, at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, old cars will cruise Main Street in what Hall and fellow organizer Kortney Nesseth say continues to grow.

“They have grown that car show to be phenomenal,” Hall said of car show organizers Janet and son Darren Fischer. “A lot of people like to watch that while they’re getting their spot in the parade lineup.”

The grand parade is also always a highlight of the week’s events. Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, at least 60 parade entries will make their way down Main Street. This year’s parade will feature four marching bands, Hall said. First-, second- and third-place entries will receive Lakefield Bucks.

Longtime community members and supporters Steve and Kathy Condon will be the parade Grand Marshals.

“It’s totally humbling to say we should be grand marshals of a parade,” said Kathy in a video published on the Summerfest website. “We don’t do anything different than anybody else in the town. We do our job. We love what we do.”

Lakefield community members for more than three decades, the couple provide daycare. Steve retired after more than 34 years teaching math and science in the area’s public school systems.

The couple has served on numerous boards and community organizations. They’ve also hosted foreign exchange students.

Parade lineup will begin at 1 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Senior Citizens Community Center on Main Street, where the route will lead to the JCC Middle School, then to North City Park before ending at the Colonial Manor Nursing Home.

“We make sure (the parade) goes by the nursing home so the residents can view it as well,” Nesseth said.  

In accordance to this year’s theme, a former Lakefield resident and his band will highlight Saturday night’s Street Dance.

“One of our goals this year is when we picked our music we wanted to use our local musicians,” Nesseth said.

Organizers found that in 2007 Jackson County Central graduate John Swanson. Swanson will return to his hometown Saturday with his Pierre, S.D.-based band No Worries. The classic rock/rock band will entertain from 8 p.m. to midnight at North City Park.

Other Lakefield Summerfest activities include:

Monday

Medallion Hunt begins. Clues posted at lakefieldsummerfest.com.; 6 p.m., 500 card tournament, Multipurpose Building.

Tuesday

10 to 10:45 a.m., Story hour, Lakefield Library; 4 p.m., glow paint, Lakefield Library. (For grades 5-8, register by calling 507-662-5782); 6 p.m., Pinochle card tournament, multipurpose building.

Wednesday

11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Legion Auxiliary Salad Luncheon, American Legion; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Creative Corner, come and go crafts, Lakefield Library; 6 p.m., Little Miss and Mr. Pageant, North City Park, followed by free games; 6 p.m., Food in the Park;  7:30 p.m., Lip Sync Battle, North City Park (bring a chair).

Thursday

10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Carnival, Lakefield Library; 5 p.m., community picnic in the park, North City Park; 5 p.m., Music in the Park featuring Connor Creegan and Jason Buchan; 9 to 10:30 p.m., late swim, Lakefield Pool.

Friday

Noon to 12:45 p.m., lunch and crafts, Lakefield Library. (Bring your own lunch. Register by calling 507-662-5782); 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Family Fun Night, North City Park (Immanuel Lutheran School in the event of inclement weather); 5 p.m., pork burgers, Lakefield VFW; 5:30 p.m., pork feed, North City Park; 7 to 9:30 p.m., Extreme Scavenger Hunt, North City Park (kids ages 11-18); 7:30 p.m., Frogs/Jackson Bulls baseball game, baseball diamonds;  8 p.m., VFW dance w/live music; 8 p.m., shed dance w/live singing.

Saturday

7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Belgian Waffle breakfast, Silverbacks; 9 a.m. (8 a.m. registration), Michelle Lesch 5K Cancer Walk/Run, North City Park; 8 a.m. to noon, Jackson County Historical Society Open House; 8 to 9 a.m., Ladies Auxiliary coffee and rolls, American Legion;. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Legion Best Meal Deal, North City Park and Legion Hall;  9 a.m. Summerfest Golf Scramble, North Valley Golf Course; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., log carving by Vision in Logs, North City Park; 10 a.m., Build Your Own Bloody Mary bar, The Shed; 10 a.m., car show, North City Park; 10 a.m. Firefighter Structural Rescue, fire hall; 11 a.m. Craft, Vendor and Business Show, North City Park; 11 a.m., ice cream in the shelter house; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Music in the Park with Sean Benz, North City Park. 11 a.m., Papa’s Smok’in meat food truck, North City Park; 3 p.m. until gone, watermelon feed; Following parade, Bean Bag Tournament, North City Park; 3 to 5 p.m., walking tacos, North City Park; 3:30 p.m., beer garden, North City Park;  3:30 to7:30 p.m., Music in the Park Featuring Jim Wuerffel and Nikki and Rick, North City Park; 4 to 7 p.m., Pizza Ranch food tent, North City Park; 5 p.m. (4:30 p.m. registration), Kids Tractor Pull, Douglas Street; 5 to 7 p.m., Beef Philly Feed, North City Park.

Sunday

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., pancake breakfast, American Legion; 5 p.m.. Lakefield Youth Mites Baseball.

For more information on events or to pre-register, visit lakefieldsummerfest.com.