Helicopter rides, inflatables and outdoor movies add to KTD festival

WORTHINGTON -- From bouncing on inflatables to soaring over the city in a helicopter, King Turkey Day activities will abound around the Government Center square next week.

WORTHINGTON - From bouncing on inflatables to soaring over the city in a helicopter, King Turkey Day activities will abound around the Government Center square next week.

A 12-member committee of volunteers was tasked with finding fun things for kids, teens and families to take in during the city’s largest annual festival.

Holly Sieve and Susanne Murphy co-lead the committee that is bringing back some perennial favorites to the KTD Midway, as well as some new events.

The activities begin Friday evening, with an expanded offering of inflatables to entice children as young as two to high-school-aged teens. Bouncing around on the inflatables is free for all, and will be lined up down Ninth Street.

“They just look awesome,” Sieve said of the selection. “We picked out some really fun ones.”


The inflatables will be open from 4 p.m. until dark on Friday and 10 a.m. to dark Saturday. Sponsored in part by the Worthington Optimist Club, volunteers from local church youth groups will oversee the inflatables while in use.

While the kids bounce around on inflatables, the adults can bounce around in their own individual bubble. The Southwest Crisis Center is sponsoring another round of Bubble Ball, which has individuals stepping into inflated bubbles and taking part in a variety of games where the winner may be determined by the last person standing. Pre-registration isn’t needed, and the Bubble Ball games will be offered from 7 p.m. until dark on Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Just as the Bubble Ball fun begins Friday evening, the Young Professionals Network is sponsoring a bean bag tournament at the beer garden, with a limit of 16 teams taking part. To register your team, call the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce at 372-2919.

Walt Disney movies will be projected onto an inflatable screen on the Government Center lawn both evenings, with “Coco” showing Friday at dusk and “Peter Rabbit” at dusk Saturday. Children will again be able to decorate their own box car to sit in during the movie, Sieve said.

For those seeking perhaps more of a thrill ride, the Ride The Sky Helicopter is returning to Worthington for King Turkey Day, with ticket sales beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Helicopter rides will also be offered Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 4 p.m. until dark or later.

The Zoo Man will present shows at 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Ninth Street and Third Avenue. Other activities planned Saturday on the Government Center lawn include balloon artist Mr. Twister, face painting, caricatures, tattoos, Henna temporary tattoos and puzzle challenges all offered from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

An escape unit is also coming to downtown Worthington, and will be operating from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

The Rainbow Country Trolley will offer trolley rides downtown before and after the King Turkey Day parade Saturday.


Numerous volunteers will help the committee during the festival, and Sieve said all of the fun activities couldn’t be provided without their help.

“We value the volunteers so much and they help us offer all of these free activities and keep them safe for the kids,” she said.

Several local organizations are helping to sponsor some of the activities, including the Worthington Optimists, Elks and Kiwanis.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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