Fun For All Ages at Ruthven’s Quasquicentennial/Bully Bullhead Celebration
RUTHVEN – The year was 1884 when Alex Ruthven settled on a tract of land just south of Lost Island Lake. Thus, Ruthven was incorporated in honor of Alex Ruthven and his two brothers. Descendents of the family, Bob Ruthven and wife Carma of Pella, along with their two daughters and grandchildren will be attending the three-day celebration commemorating the 125th anniversary of Ruthven.
Friday, July 10
The Ruthven Quasquicenten-nial/Bully Bullhead Weekend celebration has something every member of the family will enjoy. The festivities kick-off on Friday morning, July 10, with the Sixth Annual BBW Tractor Ride. This ride through the lakes and prairie region will travel south to Laurens and back to the Ruthven Care Center where the event begins with registration at 7 a.m.
Also on Friday, for the entire family, renowned folk singer and autoharp virtuoso Adam Miller will be performing at 10:30 a.m. at the Ruthven Social Center, one of the activities at the library, which is celebrating their 45th year.
The popular community hot dog feed will start at 4 p.m. at Iowa State Bank, where the 2009 Citizen of the Year Maurice Conlon will be recognized. The Ruthven American Legion and Auxiliary will also receive special recognition at this event, along with the judging of the Quasquicentennial beard contest.
There is plenty for kids to do all weekend, and to kick-off kids events is the Iowa sanctioned Pedal Tractor Pull at 6 p.m. on Friday. Other Friday events include the 4-8 grade co-ed 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Centennial Park, teen late night swim night at the Ruthven pool, a high school baseball game, and the first of two street dances, with Friday night featuring “The Senders” downtown on Gowrie Street.
Saturday, July 11
Saturday starts bright and early with the fishing contest getting underway at 7 a.m. where four tagged bullheads, valued at $500 each, have been released in Lost Island Lake. For the bargain hunters, city-wide garage sales will be held starting at 7:30 a.m. along with the Methodist Men’s yard sale and UMW bake sale.
The 5K, 10K, and Fun Run will be held at 8 a.m. at Huston Park on Lost Island Lake, with the kids being entertained downtown starting at 9 a.m. with free entertainment courtesy of the Ruthven Care Center. Featured at the Iowa State Bank parking lot, will be inflatables, a dunk tank, free concessions, prizes, and gift bags. There will also be kids train rides going on at this location starting at 11:30 a.m.
The Social Center will be a place to cool off with the UMW pie and ice cream social; the noon meal will be prepared by the Ruthven Masons with their annual turkey fillet and brat feed starting at 11 a.m. downtown, as well. Other Saturday morning events include business open houses, an antique tractor and machinery show, a slow pitch softball tournament, Ruthven history show at the library, and a Prairie Scavenger Hunt at the Lost Island Nature Center. The classic car show kicks off at noon at Cricket Park, with the Ruthven Cub Scouts holding a water stand and face painting downtown up until the large parade starts.
The Quasqui-BBW Parade promises to be a crowd pleaser. Starting at 1:30 p.m., the parade will snake its way through town with announcing stands at Joan’s Café and downtown by City Hall. This large annual parade has always been a popular attraction to the area, and entries are even higher this year including such national talents as the Cape Cod Percherons Draft Hitch Team and TVLand’s funny cop Barney Fife in town with his Mayberry cop cruiser.
There will be plenty of old west horse action, as the Pony Express rides in the parade and will be giving pony and wagon rides afterwards just east of the American Legion. They will also be sponsoring a mule-jumping exhibition at this location at 3:30 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. Inside the air conditioned Legion, following the parade, will be the Kids Koin Karnival, featuring bigger and better prizes.
For the older youth, the 3-on-3 co-ed high school basketball tournament will be held at Centennial Park at 4 p.m., and an old fashioned car burn-out contest will be held at Cricket Park at 4:30 p.m.
The community is welcome to attend the come-and-go Community Dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Brent Swart Pioneer Seed building in the northwest corner of town. Shuttle service stops will be available from the downtown area and from the Ruthven-Ayrshire school, where there will be school tours and an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. The Ruthven pool will open at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, offering a cool alternative for just a dollar admission. The evening caps off with another street dance downtown featuring The Murphy Brothers Band.
Sunday, July 12
Sunday morning has been set aside to allow you to attend church services of your choice at one of Ruthven’s four churches. Then, it is more family entertainment at the Ruthven Rodeo Grounds just southwest of town where the Team Sorting Competition and Kids Events get underway at 11 a.m. The Highland 4-H Club will be serving with Junie’s BBQ of Ruthven preparing the meal. Rumor has it that there will be some old tractors pulling the sled in a tractor pull competition just to the east of this location.
The Ruthven Pool will again feature swimming for a dollar, opening at 1 p.m. At 12 noon in Centennial Park, the co-ed volleyball competition begins and is open to all ages. The fishing contest will come to an end at 1 p.m., with the Progressive Organ Recital getting underway at 1:30 p.m. at the Ruthven Methodist Church. This free event will feature guest organist Glenn Henricksen from Armstrong along with pianist Jan (Graettinger) Meyer. The event travels to each church and concludes at the Lost Island Lutheran Church where a 4 p.m. Ice Cream Social and Maidrite supper will conclude the weekend activities.
Make sure to bring the entire family, and spend the weekend enjoying Ruthven’s 125th family fun Quasquicentennial/Bully Bullhead Celebration July 10-12 in Ruthven!