By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN From pitchfork fondue to yodeling, the Delano Heritage Festival promises to be an afternoon the community won’t soon forget.
The event will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 in old village hall on Bridge Avenue in downtown Delano.
There is no cost to attend, but people will have the opportunity to purchase food and other items to benefit old village hall and other local entities.
Several organizations have been working together to transform the old village hall into a place where people can display art and artifacts, host celebrations, have group meetings, and watch onstage performances.
“The whole Heritage Fest is to refurbish the old city hall,” said Debbie DeBeer, one of the event organizers. “This is for the community.”
The festival will include a variety of fun historical attractions, music, and food.
Throughout the afternoon, the Delano Franklin Historical Society will be cooking sirloin steak on a pitchfork, and all proceeds will go to help refurbish the old village hall.
From 2 to 5 p.m., the Delano Senior Center will host a celebration of ethnic food, music, and art, to honor the diverse cultures that came to Delano and made it what it is today.
Live music by The Flemming Fold will be performed from 2 to 4 p.m. The group is a husband-and-wife team, Troy and Sandra, along with their two young daughters, ages 7 and 8.
They perform a wide variety of music, including traditional Alpine music of Europe, American old-time, and early country and gospel. Troy is an accomplished yodeler, singer, and guitarist, and Sandra is an acclaimed singer and accordionist.
From 4 to 6 p.m., bluegrass, newgrass, and gospel bluegrass band Seldom Herd will take the stage.
Later in the evening, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Afternoon Squares will perform, with an emphasis on audience participation. Abe Maier’s square dance program is a way to learn square dancing and keep the tradition alive.
In addition to ethnically-rich music, a showcasing of memorabilia will also be available at the event, from 2 to 4 p.m. Delano’s leading historian, Bill Eppel, will share items from his personal collection.
From 2 to 8 p.m., community members will also have the opportunity to participate in an old-fashioned quilting bee. No experience is needed, and anyone age 10 and older is welcome. From simple tie blankets to sewing blocks together or starting a quilt, there is something for every skill level.
Finished quilts will be donated to Quilts of Valor, Golden LivingCenter, Love INC Heartland, Sharing and Caring Hands, and Green Lake Lutheran Ministries. Also, Sister Tierney Truelman will carry quilts to the needy in Bogota, Columbia.
The downtown market is another draw of the Heritage Fest. Massages, children’s crafts, meditative art, handcrafted items, purses, soaps, and much more will be available.
The Delano Dream Team II will also have a booth at the event.
“At a couple of points during the day, we’ll get up and give a very short update,” Dream Team II president Chris Brazelton said.
After the Heritage Fest, from 8 to 11 p.m., Youth As Resources will be hosting a youth street dance.
DeBeer said the Heritage Fest will be a fun way to bring the community together, as well as raise funds for the building’s renovation.
The Delano Dream Team II is planning to make the Heritage Center a place for wedding showers, meetings, and performances.
“We have set goals and plans to make it a place where the community can gather,” DeBeer said. “It will support the arts, organizations, and individuals.”
Future plans for the center include a catering kitchen and performing arts stage upstairs, and a welcoming space for organizational meetings downstairs.
“It’s been the jail, the fire station, city offices, and library,” DeBeer said. “It’s a landmark of downtown Delano.”
For more information about the Heritage Fest, e-mail email@example.com.
“We certainly want people to come down,” DeBeer said.