Windom's Riverfest to feature parade, fireworks, rubber duckies and a fire show

“It’s something fun and different, and it really ties in (with) the river.”

FILE PHOTO: Rubber duckies.
FILE PHOTO: Rubber duckies.
File photo by Jason Richard on Unsplash
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WINDOM — The annual Riverfest Celebration in Windom kicks off Monday, but the party ramps up throughout the week until it reaches its dramatic, ducky conclusion on Sunday, June 12.

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In the newest addition to the Riverfest lineup, the festival’s namesake itself will play host to the Riverfest Lucky Duck Raffle River Race.

“It’s something fun and different, and it really ties in (with) the river,” said Tyann Hall-Marcy, executive director of the Windom Area Chamber of Commerce.

People who purchase a raffle ticket get a numbered rubber ducky, and with the help of the Windom Fire Department and Windom Ducks Unlimited, an entire fleet of rubber duckies will be let loose to race the river starting at 3 p.m. June 12. The owner of the fastest duck, the second-fastest and the slowest duck all win prizes, based on a percentage of the tickets sold.

Should all 2,000 members of the squeaky fleet be raffled off, the speediest swimmer will get $2,000, with $1,500 for the other two honored waterfowl.


That, however, is Riverfest’s grand finale.

The fun starts Monday, as the Windomnet Medallion Hunt begins at 9 a.m. The HyVee Community Cookout runs from 5 to 7 p.m., with live music by Natalie Nicole, at the Courthouse Square. At 7 p.m., the Windom Women of Today Miss Riverfest Pageant begins at the BARC Auditorium.

Festival-goers get a breather on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, a Pirates baseball game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. at Island Park. The Riverfest Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Thursday at the Windom Area High School.

The festivities continue on Friday evening at Island Park. At 6 p.m., the gates open for those interested in the array of food vendors or in the beer garden. At 6:30 p.m. opening band Jeremy DeWall plays, followed by the classic rock tribute band Arch Allies from 8 to 11 p.m.

Saturday’s slate is the most crowded of all, with activities going on in multiple locations so festival-goers have their pick of the party. A sand volleyball tournament at Tegels Park starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m., and a Game & Fish Youth Fishing Contest will run from 9 a.m. to noon at Cottonwood Lake. The Riverfest Softball Tournament starts at 9 a.m. at the softball fields.

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Meanwhile at the Courthouse Square, on Saturday, the HyLife HyFive Community 5K Run starts at 9 a.m., as does a craft and vendor show. Food trucks will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the Sons of Norway Smorgasbord runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Phat Pheasant Beer Garden is open from noon to 8:30 p.m. For children, the bouncy houses will be open from 1 to 5 p.m., and Scott Ringquist is set to play acoustic music from 1 to 3 p.m. The Windom Fire Department is having kids’ water fights from 2 to 4 p.m., and the Toro Turtle Races start at 3 p.m. The parade line-up begins at the Cottonwood County Fairgrounds at 4 p.m., and the Kids Spin Zone runs from 4 to 5:45 p.m. The Riverfest Parade, which has returned to its traditional downtown route after a few years of changing it up, starts at 6 p.m., followed by a Fire Show on Fourth Avenue Town Square.

“I wanted to try some different entertainment and different things,” Hall-Marcy said of the fire show.

Saturday evening will be capped off by the Windom Lions Club Judd Hoos concert at Island Park.


On Sunday, a community breakfast with JoJo’s Food Truck is set for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Tegels Park, and the Karz-N-Trux Car Show will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a DJ and food vendors. A community worship service starts at 10:30 a.m. at BARC, with a Lion’s Club Pancake Feed to follow.

Sunday also marks Riverfest’s Family Fun Day at Island Park. A Petting Zoo and Pony Rides will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with food vendors, bouncy houses and a craft and vendor show running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. DeWall will perform from noon to 2 p.m., the beer garden will be open from noon to 4 p.m., and anyone may swim in the pool for free at the Lifeguard Opener from 1 to 5 p.m. The Windom Pirates play at 2 p.m., and the ducks start their swim at 3 p.m.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

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