Weekend events showcase culture and history News, Sports, Jobs

There will be opportunities to celebrate community, culture and history in the area this weekend.

A number of community events kick off this evening, including Ghent’s Belgian American Days, the Good Old Days and Threshing Show in Hanley Falls, and the Upper Sioux Community Traditional Wacipi near Granite Falls.

Ghent residents were faced with an unexpected challenge this week, when windstorms knocked down trees around town, right as community members were preparing for Belgian American Days. But the streets and parks were cleaned up in time for the festivities, said Ghent city administrator Dawn Vlaminck.

“It actually went really well,” Vlaminck said of the cleanup. Festival organizers also had to plan around a weekend forecast with a chance of rain, she said. “We made some adjustments to make sure everything starts off as normal.”

Belgian American Days starts this evening with a “.05K” and beach party. The run is meant to be both short and silly, and people are invited to enjoy the celebration afterward, Vlaminck said.

“It’s basically just like a block party,” she said. “This year, we invited all our new residents as well.”

The celebrations of Belgian American culture this weekend include a Belgian cookie making demonstration on Friday, and the annual rolle bolle tournament on Saturday. Other events Saturday include a grand parade, car show and free kids’ activities.

“It’s just to get everyone out, and get everyone together,” Vlaminck said of the festival.

Hanley Falls Threshing Show

Visitors can get a look back into farming history in Hanley Falls this weekend. The Good Old Days and Threshing Show is returning to the grounds of the Minnesota Machinery Museum.

Jeff Schwartz, one of the event organizers, said exhibitors were already starting to arrive on Thursday. The show features all kinds of tractors and gas engines, as well as demonstrations of old-time farming and other skills, from threshing grain to blacksmithing and rope making.

“We welcome all tractor models, but we always have a featured brand,” Schwartz said. This year, the show will spotlight JI Case and Fairbanks Morse Engines. He said a “good-sized crowd” of members from the Northland Case Collectors group are expected to come to the show, and visitors will even be able to see a vintage Case automobile.

A craft show and flea market will be held at the event, as well as an antique tractor pull on Saturday, featuring tractors made before 1960. A kids’ pedal tractor pull will be held on Sunday morning.

“If the rain holds off, the tractor pull should be a really good event,” Schwartz said.

Upper Sioux Community Wacipi

The 2022 Pezihutazizi Oyate Traditional Wacipi will be held this weekend, at the Upper Sioux Community near Granite Falls. A wacipi, or powwow, is a Native American celebration that brings people together for singing and dancing. The wacipi starts Friday evening, and continues through Sunday. Grand entries will be held each of the three days of the wacipi, and men’s and women’s traditional special dances are also planned.

Belgian American Days, Ghent

Friday

5:30 pm – Beanbag tournament at KB’s Bar and Grill ballroom

6 pm – Belgian cookie-making demonstration

7 p.m. – “Life’s A Beach” .05K run

7:05 pm – Beach party with games and prizes

8 pm – Pedal tractor pull

9 pm – Movie at the ice rink

Saturday

10 am – KB’s open

10 am-2 pm – Free kids’ activities at Legion Park, including petting zoo, kiddy carnival and inflatables

11 am – Rolle Bolle tournament, A&B division

11 am – Car show, featuring Plymouth

1 pm – Rolle Bolle tournament, novice division

4:30 pm – Grand parade

5 pm – Fire department feed at the fire hall

5-9 pm – Woody’s ax throwing

9 pm – Street dance featuring IV Play

Sunday

9 am – KB’s open for breakfast

10:30 am – Mass at St. Eloi Church, and service at Iglesia Cristiana Rayo De Luz

Good Old Days and Threshing Show, Hanley Falls

Friday

5 pm – Tractor drive

Saturday

Expo building and displays

Craft show and flea market

10 am-4 pm – Minnesota Machinery Museum open

1:30 pm – Parade

Sunday

Expo building and displays

Craft show and flea market

8:30 am – Worship service

10 am – Kids’ pedal tractor pull

1-4:30 pm – Minn. Machinery Museum open

1:30 pm – Parade

4 pm – Pre-1960 tractor pull

Upper Sioux Community

Wacipi, Granite Falls

Friday

7 pm – Grand entry

9 pm – Men’s Traditional Special honoring Tim Blue

Saturday

9 am – Flag raising

1 pm – Grand entry

3 pm – Women’s Traditional Special

in remembrance of Rhonda Hoeper

7 pm – Grand entry

Sunday

9 am – Flag raising

1 pm – Grand entry

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