Lake Mills to celebrate Sesquicentennial
by Tyler Gasper
Lake Mills Graphric
Thursday, July 11, marks the beginning of a July Jubilee celebration, 150 years in the making, as the city of Lake Mills will begin its Sesquicentennial Celebration festivities. In addition to the traditional Jubilee activities, there will be several new events as well, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of our city. The theme for this year’s celebration is Generations Strong.
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. in Oakwood Park with an LMCDC Member Kick-Off Social Hour, followed by a Battle of the Businesses event at 6 p.m. Spectators are welcome to attend this friendly competition between local businesses, which will also be taking place at Oakwood Park.
Then at 7 p.m., there will be a wedding dress style show at Salem Lutheran Church. The show will feature donated wedding dresses from across the decades, with the oldest dress being from 1904. The bridal show is a ticketed event; if you don’t already have tickets, there may be tickets available at the door (but no guarantees).
The final event of the day will be an outdoor showing of the movie “The Greatest Showman” at Oakwood Park. The movie is tentatively scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., but will start once it is dark enough to see on the screen. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs, as well as whatever snacks they may desire.
Friday’s events begin at 9 a.m. with a Cinnamon Roll Breakfast and Bake Sale at the Truman Helgeson Civic Center. Following that at 11 a.m., will be an MBT Bank Appreciation Lunch, which is scheduled to last until 1 p.m. The Mills Theater will be showing local films throughout the weekend free of admission, starting at 12:30 p.m., Friday. For a full schedule of films being shown, see the ad on page 5 of this issue.
At noon, pre-registration for the 5K walk/run will open at Lake Mills Physical Therapy. Those interested in participating will have until 5 p.m. to pre-register for the event.
Beginning at 5 p.m. there will be a wine tasting along with hors d’oeuvres at the 1901 Victorian House and Gardens, which will go until 7 p.m.
The Men’s Slow Pitch Softball Tournament will begin at 6 p.m. at the Leonard Fjelstad Sports Complex, and will continue on Saturday.
Also starting at 6 p.m. will be the Lake Mills Community Night, a night of family-friendly fun with free entry for any and all interested in attending, and will be taking place downtown. Parts of N. Mill and W. Main streets will be blocked off during the weekend for these festivities, so drivers should plan accordingly. Events for the Community Night include inflatables, a Little Mr. and Ms. Lake Mills contest, free games and activities for kids, live music, and a fireworks show. Purchase your Saturday night street dance admission bracelets Friday, located at the Community Night gates, and receive unlimited access to inflatables (otherwise $1/activity excluding the “Little Builders” toddler zone which is free.) A full schedule and details for these events can be found on pages 6 and 7 of this issue.
The live music at Community Night will include local favorite, Nate and the Moonlighters, who have performed at Jubilee celebrations in the past, as well as other local celebrations and benefits. The current lineup for Nate and the Moonlighters is as follows: Mark Timmerman, Nate Sletten, Daryl Sherman, John Butz, Bruce Adams, Jim Scholbrock, Bill Georgia, and Tony Brezina. Also performing will be the Mill Street Band, many of whom also perform with Nate and the Moonlighters. This will be their first July Jubilee performance. The Mill Street Band includes Tony Brezina, Mark Timmerman, Mindy Sletten, Nate Sletten, and John Butz.
Fireworks will be shot off at dusk, west of town, and will be visible from Main St. and Popcorn Hill.
On Saturday, the Annual July Jubilee 5K will start at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Lake Mills Physical Therapy Building. For those who missed the pre-registration on Friday, you will be able to register for the event beginning at 6:45 a.m. Saturday morning.
At 10:30 a.m. the Annual July Jubilee Parade will begin. Since W. Main and N. Mill Streets will be closed for other events, there will be a new parade route this year. The full route details can be found in this issue on page 5. There will be a prize for the parade entry that most fits the “Generations Strong” theme of this year’s festivities. The nature of the prize will be determined by the number of entries received. Those interested in participating can register online via Facebook, and there is a $10 registration fee.
The July Jubilee Committee is inviting all past Parade Marshals still with us, to ride in the parade. Past parade marshals should contact the July Jubilee Committee at 641-592-5253 if they plan to ride in the parade or if assistance is needed in finding a car. Past Parade Marshals include: James and Virginia Kingland, Gov. Terry Branstad, Kathryn Berry, Bob and Germaine Bird, WWI Veterans, Gordon and Opal Aasgaard, Johnny and Marie Bakken, George and Margaret Nepstad, Lew and Merrel Dunn, Earl and Helen Mowers, Orville and Senora Moen, Dr. and Connie Brainerd, All World War Veterans, Floyd and Virginia Thomas, Don and Doris Grotewold, Milford and Doris Helgeson, Harris and LeAnn Honsey, Marlo and Bethel Durby, Foster and LaVonne Hartman, Dave and Bonnie Steffens, Wayne and Millie Miller, Dean and Ardith Holstad, Helen Iverson, Ron and Ardis Langfald, Don Wirt and David B. Anderson, Lyle and Orloue Thomson, Jim and Doris Tweed, Dick and Gladys Biehl, Dennis and Darlene Madson, Fran Peterson and Diane Brackey, Daryl and Joyce Sherman, Arlie and Joan Olson, Bill and Diane Clark, Scott and Elaine Helgeson.
Following the parade, Oakwood Park will be the place to be in the afternoon, as there will be numerous family-friendly activities taking place there. The Parents for D.C. will be hosting a Community Picnic fundraiser beginning at 11:30 a.m. All proceeds will go to funding the annual eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C.
From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. there will be an Art and Vendor Show, hosted by the Lake Mills Fine Arts Guild. There will also be other free entertainment including bounce houses, and more. Starting at 3 p.m. the Kid Power Sanctioned Pedal Pull will begin.
At noon, there will be a Bags Tournament taking place downtown, near 5 Alarm Brewing. From 1-3 p.m. the Lake Mills Community School will be host an open house, with guided tours of the school taking place every 30 minutes for the duration.
From 1-4 p.m., the Truman Helgeson Civic Center will be hosting BINGO, with all funds raised going to support the LM Ambulance Service.
The Burnap Country School will also be having an open house from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Visitors to the Country school will be able to speak with Jim Dietz-Kilen, the Chief Development Officer of Living History Farms (and LMHS graduate) about his research on Lake Mills for The Norwegian American Magazine.
From 3-6 p.m. there will be live music at 5 Alarm Brewing Company, featuring Bryce Kai. So come in for a pint (if you’re of age), cool off, and enjoy some live music.
The Beer Garden on Main and Mill Streets will open at 7 p.m., followed by the PopROCKS! July Jubilee Street Dance on Main Street. Entry fee for this event will be $10/person, with all beer and wine sales by local businesses.
The final day of festivities on Sunday will kick off with the Saved By Your Bass Fishing Tournament, which will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the Silver Lake Campground. Any local anglers who also happen to be early risers are encouraged to participate. Space is limited, so pre-registration is encouraged. Contact Adam Odegaard at 641-592-3041.
From 8 a.m.-12 p.m. the American Legion will be hosting a breakfast at the Truman Helgeson Civic Center.
Beginning at 9 a.m. a Co-Ed Slow Pitch Softball Tournament will be held at the Leonard Fjelstad Sports Complex. Sports fans and athletes alike are encouraged to attend.
The Sunday Fun-Day will take place downtown from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and will include live music by the Murphy Brothers Band, yard games, local food and drink, as well as other vendors. The Mills Theater will be showing a local film, and there will be another BINGO fundraiser for the LM Ambulance at the Civic Center.
Main Street and Mill Street will re-open to traffic starting Sunday afternoon starting at 5 p.m.
It is all set to be an incredible weekend of fun and celebration for our city, and we hope to see you all there. Happy Sesquicentennial!