By Julie Krienke
MAYER, MN A jam-packed weekend of free entertainment will take place Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 at the Mayer Rising Community Festival.
Prior to Saturday’s campfire show, people will be able to practice roping with the cowboys in the community center parking lot. Old West Society events will begin at 4 p.m.
Mechanical bull rides will also take place in the community center parking lot from 4 to 6 p.m.
Featured at Mayer’s 125th celebration is a campfire show at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Old Schoolhouse Park, next to the Mayer Community Center on Bluejay Avenue.
“We have the Old West Society coming out, and rural cowboys will bring horses in,” said Stan Heldt, coordinator of the event. “There will be things happening these days that you just won’t experience at other city celebrations.”
The Saturday evening campfire show will start with a posting of the colors done by the American Legion Post 601 of Mayer and New Germany.
The beginning of the show will involve a recreation of Indian history done by the Old West Society.
“They’ll come around the campfire and create the setting for the narrator to talk about Indian history,” Heldt said.
The narrator will talk about the Sioux uprising that began in Litchfield and its ripple effect into Mayer, according to Heldt.
Past councilmen and mayors will then be invited to gather around the campfire as a narrator talks about Mayer history. Zion Lutheran Church history will take place before the intermission.
During the campfire show, the Old West Society will recreate how a cowboy wedding took place, including how the cowboy found his bride.
In the second half of the show, history will be given about the Mayer Post Office, and music will be provided.
The history of two local businesses, the bank and lumberyard, will be featured.
“While they are talking, an explosion will occur to create the setting of the bank robbery in the south of town,” Heldt said. “The cowboys will ride down Bluejay Ave. and bring the robber to the campfire.”
Coordinators of the event encourage people to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to the show, but bleacher seating will also be provided.
The Zion Run for the Son, a 5k run, and the Zion Kids Run for the Son, a half-mile race, that were scheduled for Saturday morning have been cancelled. Registration fees will be refunded.
Kickball tournaments will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will take place throughout the day.
A classic car show and swappers meet will take place between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“The car show will be one of the bigger car shows in the area,” Heldt said. “We are looking for this year to be bigger and better than the past years.”
At this year’s car show, ‘50s music will be played in the background by a DJ. The car show will end at 2 p.m. with a car parade through town.
A variety of activities will take place throughout the day, starting with crazy hair and face painting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Zion Fun in the Son Carnival with take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will include bounce houses, a clown, a mad scientist, airplane activities, and much more.
“There are a number of activities for kids on Saturday morning,” Heldt said. “If you have youngsters to be entertained Saturday morning, this is the place to take them.”
Airplane activities and the mad scientist will be taking place at noon, and the clown will be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Included in the Saturday morning children’s activities is a kiddie parade beginning at 11 a.m.
A bean bag tournament sponsored by the American Legion Post 601 of Mayer and New Germany will begin at 11:30 a.m.
The tournament will take place in the Mayer Community Center parking lot and is a double elimination tournament.
Cost for the bean bag tournament is $20 for a team of two if signed up by July 6 or $25 for late registration.
Bingo will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Mayer Community Center and is sponsored by the American Legion Post 601 of Mayer and New Germany.
Saturday night music entertainment will include Fire and Spice from 6 to 10 p.m. hosted by Finn’s Place, and Smok’n Guns at 8:30 p.m. hosted by Heldt’s Bar.
Sunday’s festivities will begin with a tractor show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
An outdoor worship service will take place at Zion Lutheran Church at 10 a.m.
Following the worship service, a chicken dinner will take place at Zion Lutheran School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Another major highlight of the celebration will be the grand parade Sunday at 2 p.m.
Old West Society events will continue to take place Sunday following the parade.
The Highliners and the Singing Friends will perform at the Old Schoolhouse Park Sunday after the parade.
Starting at 4 p.m. is a pedal tractor pull outside the community center.
Heldt’s Bar will host Grayson and offer free horse and buggy rides after the parade.
The historical society will have displays set up in the community center all day Saturday and Sunday. Many local businesses will have displays about their own history.
Along with all of the activities, food vendors will be available both days.
If you have any questions about the celebration, call (952) 657-1502.