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Graettinger ‘s 115th Annual Labor Day Celebration

By Staff | Sep 1, 2011

GRAETTINGER The finishing touches are being put on the 115th Labor Day Celebration in Graettinger. The annual celebration of the end of Summer, Iowa’s Oldest Continuous Labor Day Celebration kicks off this Friday evening, Sept. 2, with activities and events for all ages over the extended holiday weekend.

Friday, Sept. 2

Even though the hometown Graettinger/Terril Knights have a football game out of town, there will be entertainment of a musical nature filling the entire community on Friday. The band “Noteable Entertainment” from Laurens will be providing music at the American Legion Post from 8 p.m. to midnight, while Big Nacho karaoke will be entertaining at the Side Street Saloon from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Returning for a second year with the music of Chrome Union at the Hillcrest Golf & Country Club from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3

Saturday dawns at 8 a.m. with the start of the annual Hillcrest Men’s Golf Tournament at the Hillcrest Golf Course, and the Kickball Tournament at Evergreen Park, being sponsored by the Graettinger/Terril Cheerleading squad. Graettinger will also feature the annual city-wide garage sales at various locations throughout the community, also starting at 8 a.m. Informational maps for the garage sales will again be available at the Graettinger Market.

The women of Bethel Lutheran Church will once again sponsor a bake sale and coffee, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Graettinger Senior Citizens’ Building on Main Street. Beginning at 9 a.m., entries for the annual Graettinger/Terril FFA Grain and Flower Show will be accepted in the Graettinger Development Board building on Robbins Avenue. At the same time, the FFA students will be setting up the always-popular Children’s Barnyard, adjacent to Robbins Street on the PRO Coop lot. Both attractions will open at 9 a.m. each day of the celebration.

The Labor Day softball tournament starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Citizens’ Memorial Park on East Robbins Avenue, with the Graettinger Little League Parents once again serving concessions during the tourney. A new event, the Bean Bag Tournament, is planned for Saturday at Citizen’s Memorial Park, starting at 12 noon.

One of the traditional Labor Day Events, the Antique Tractor Pull, conducted by the Milford Antique Tractor Pullers, will start at 10 a.m. at the PRO Coop location on Van Gordon Avenue. Another favorite motorized event, the Demolition Derby, will create havoc and destruction at 4 p.m. on Saturday, adjacent to the North Valley Apartments on the north edge of town.

A favorite of all ages, BINGO, will be offered from 12 noon until 10 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday in the Graettinger Medical Clinic building on Robbins Avenue.

Saturday’s events will wind down with the pre-Street Dance party at Side Street Saloon from 6 to 9 p.m., and will be capped off with the annual Labor Day Committee’s Street Dance, starting at 9 p.m. in front of Bank Plus on Robbins Avenue. Music will be provided by the Sideline Band, playing under the stars from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Carnival rides and attractions from the McDermott Family Shows will operate daily from 1 p.m. in the downtown business district on Robbins Avenue.

Sunday, Sept. 4

Activities begin at 8 a.m., on Sunday with the second day of play in the golf tournament at the Hillcrest, along with the softball tournament, which resumes play at 9 a.m. at Citizens Memorial Park. The Labor Day Barbeque Cookoff competition is a new event that will begin at 8 a.m. at the Side Street Saloon. Also starting at 8 a.m. at the school will be the Kickball tournament.

The firefighters of the Graettinger Volunteer Fire Department will fight hunger on Sunday morning with their annual Pancake Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Fire Hall.

The Co-ed Volleyball Tournament will begin on Sunday at 11 a.m. in Citizens Memorial Park, while a Craft Show will open to the public at 11 a.m. in the Graettinger Senior Citizen’s building, continuing through 5 p.m., and operating the same hours on Monday, Sept. 5.

The Graettinger/Terril FFA Grain and Flower show will re-open at 9 a.m. along with the FFA Children’s Barnyard exhibit, and at 11 a.m., the FFA members will once again host the FFA Family Fun Day, adjacent to the Children’s Barnyard on the PRO Coop property. Baby crawling, pedal tractor races, obstacle course events and the always-entertaining chicken chase will highlight the event, which starts at 11 a.m. Sunday.

BINGO will be offered at the Medical Clinic Building from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, and McDermott Family Shows will operate carnival rides and games starting at noon.

Once again, the ATV Pull will provide a motorsports fix for fans at the Demo Derby arena on the north edge of town, beginning at 1:30 p.m. At the same time, the ATV Mud Bog will once again challenge riders and provide lots of splashes and excitement, also beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Demo Derby site. The annual Labor Day Variety Show, featuring the crowning of Miss Graettinger, begins at 7 p.m. in the Graettinger School gymnasium. The 2011 Grand Marshals of the Labor Day Celebration, Doug and Gayle Nelson, will be introduced at the show to open the event. Several talent presentations are planned to lead up to the crowning of Miss Graettinger 2011. Contestants include Nikki Brown, Logan Clabaugh, Callie Herke, Tiffany Harris and Alyssa Simington. Serving as escorts for the young ladies will be Mitch Girres, Mitch McGrauth, Jacob Schmitt, Tyler Dalen, Josh Harris and Colin Leiting. Crown Bearers for the coronation will be Lillie Peton and Collin Hoffman. The 2010 Miss Graettinger, Brooke Edwards, will crown her successor to conclude the evening’s program.

A dance for the teens will close out Sunday’s activities at the American Legion, 8 p.m. until midnight while Big Nacho Karaoke will also provide entertainment at the Hillcrest Golf and Country Club from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 5

The actual Labor Day events start at 8 a.m. Monday with a 5K/Fun Run/Walk event, sponsored by Bethel Lutheran Church. The routes for the event will weave through the community, starting at the church and ending at the church as well. At the same time, the women of Bethel Lutheran Church will sponsor a bake sale, along with coffee and rolls, at the church from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For the second year, the Labor Day Clay Pigeon Shoot will take place on the east edge of town. Due to the tremendous response to the event last year, the shoot will begin at 8 a.m. Monday morning. The public is welcomed to come and watch shooters try their skills at the various shooting stations.

A Labor Day tradition for generations, the American Legion’s Kids Races, will start at 9 a.m. in Fahnestock Park. Three-legged races, wheelbarrow races, balloon blowing and cracker eating contests for the younger set provide plenty of fun and laughter for all ages.

The Graettinger/Terril FFA Grain and Flower show will re-open at 9 a.m. along with the FFA Children’s Barnyard exhibit, while BINGO will run from 10 a.m. to noon at the Medical Clinic building and the Craft Show will open at 11 a.m. and continue to 5 p.m. in the Senior Citizens Center. The McDermott Family Shows will open at noon and continue through the afternoon and into the evening hours.

A celebration has to have good food, and Monday will highlight the annual Blue Mound Turkey Dinner, with serving starting at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church. The meal will continue until 1 p.m.

The Annual Labor Day Parade, with over 100 entries, begins at 1:45 p.m., starting at Evergreen Park, and traveling through the business district and up Robbins Street to end at the Graettinger/Terril School.

At 4 p.m., the Fun and Games competition for the adult teams will be held downtown at Fahnestock Park, pitting four teams of individuals in tests of skill, endurance, and fun for the spectators as well as the participants.

The weekend will cap-off with drawings for the Labor Day Committee’s cash prizes starting at 7 p.m. downtown in front of the Development Board building on Robbins Street.

There will be plenty of fun and activities for all ages at the 115th Graettinger Labor Day Celebration, Iowa’s Oldest Continuous Labor Day Celebration.