By Starrla Cray and Ivan Raconteur
WATERTOWN, MN Those who follow the path to Rails to Trails in Watertown this weekend will be rewarded with games, contests, food, music, and much more.
Most of the events for this community celebration will take place Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23.
However, there will also be a golf tournament Wednesday, July 20 from 1 to 6 p.m. at B’s on the River golf course. A $40 per-person charge covers the greens fee, golf cart, and a barbecue meal.
Starting Monday, July 18, clues for the Golden Spike contest will be available at local businesses that are members of the chamber of commerce.
Each day of the week, clues will also be online at www.railstotrails.ws, and on the Herald Journal blog site, www.hjblogs.com.
Friday, July 22
History buffs won’t want to miss the Watertown Area Historical Society’s two special exhibits on display at the community center in rooms A and B Friday, July 22 from 1 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
One will be “A Watertown Civil War Soldiers’ Tribute,” in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The other celebrates the 100th anniversary of what is now known as the Watertown-Mayer Primary School on 313 Angel Ave. NW.
Other daytime attractions Friday include a Watertown Hold ‘Em tournament downtown from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a farmers market from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The farmers market will be at Rick Johnson Park, by the river dam.
From 5 to 8 p.m. at Highland Park, there will be a chili contest, children’s fun zone, and royal flush dunk tank.
People attending Rails to Trails will have the opportunity to purchase a chili judging kit for $3, which includes a spoon, a pencil, and a ballot. The chili contest winners will be announced Saturday at 4 p.m.
Taste of Watertown will take place from 5 to 9 p.m., and waterball will be played at 6 p.m. A baseball tourney at Highland Park will start at 6 p.m., as well.
The Bingos will provide musical entertainment from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Games of bingo will be played Friday and Saturday night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Watertown Community Center, located at 309 Lewis Avenue.
At 10 p.m. Friday, there will be an outdoor movie, along with happy hour and appetizers.
Saturday, July 23
Events Saturday, July 23 will start bright and early, with a 5k fun run and walk downtown. Shortly after, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., sidewalk sales and a craft fair will be downtown.
Other activities downtown include a children’s fishing contest from 10 a.m. to noon, a duck race at noon, a kiddie/pet parade at 12:30 p.m., and a grand parade at 1 p.m.
At Highland Park, the Watertown Lions Club will host a classic car and tractor show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors can enjoy listening to Donny Olson’s Basement Band as they walk through the show.
Registration to show a vehicle is from 8 to 10:30 a.m., with more than 50 door prizes and awards given at 2 p.m. All participants receive a free pop and hot dog, and the first 100 to register receive dash plaques.
An adult beanbag tourney will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Those who would like to participate can call (952) 955-3968.
The food court will open at 2 p.m. at Highland Park, and face painting, royal flush dunk tank, and children’s fun zone will be from 2 to 8 p.m.
A baseball tourney will be going on all day, and grocery giveaway drawings will be at 6 and 8 p.m.
Other Highland Park events include the teddy bear push at 5 p.m. and the toilet bowl races at 6 p.m. For more information, call (952) 955-3376.
Saturday music will be Chuck Thiel and the Jolly Ramblers from 3 to 5 p.m., Cadillac Hillbilly from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the Shaw Brothers from 8 to 11:30 p.m.