By Jennifer Kotila
HOWARD LAKE, MN The Good Neighbor Days (GND) celebration in Howard Lake promises to be a fun-filled weekend with plenty of events for people of all ages to enjoy. This year, Good Neighbor Days will take place Thursday through Sunday, June 21-24.
GND buttons are available at various locations throughout Howard Lake. They offer a chance to win cash prizes, and are good for free entry into the baseball tournament and coronation.
The GND button also provides people with other discounts for events and items during the GND celebration.
With a diverse schedule of events, it should not be difficult for those of any inclination to find something they will enjoy at this year’s celebration (see GND insert for a full schedule of events).
Good neighbors to package food for hungry kids
The first event which will take place during the community celebration will be the good neighbors of Howard Lake coming together to package food for hungry children at the Food for Kidz event planned at St. James Lutheran School from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 20.
The Food for Kidz organization will bring all the packaging materials and food necessary to package individual meals that provide all the nutrition a person in a disaster-stricken area will need for one day. Once the nonperishable meals are packed, people without many resources can easily prepare them by adding 4 cups of water and boiling.
During the event, eight to 10 people work at a table together adding ingredients, weighing the meals, and packing them in boxes, after which the boxes are placed on a cart and shrink-wrapped for shipping. People of all ages and backgrounds work side-by-side, and the event is a great way to meet one’s neighbors. “It’s mayhem and chaos, but it’s lovely,” said event organizer Judy Forst.
The goal is to raise $6,000 in order to be able to pack 30,000 meals, which is how much was packaged the last time the event took place in Howard Lake two years ago. At that event, someone came in during the packaging session and donated $1,000, which allowed the packaging of the nutritional meals to continue for an additional hour.
The event is being sponsored by St. James Lutheran Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Howard Lake Christian Church, the First Presbyterian Church in Howard Lake, and the Church of St. Mary Catholic Church in Waverly.
Those who wish to participate may sign up at any of the sponsoring churches, or show up at St. James Lutheran School the night of the event. Those who wish can donate money for the event. Any amount is welcome, however a donation of $32.40 will buy a box of food that will make 216 meals. Donations can be made at any of the sponsoring churches or at St. James Lutheran School the night of the event.
Thursday evening, all community members, and those who consider themselves good neighbors of the community, are invited to drive or sail into Codger’s Cove to partake in the kick-off banquet at 6:30 p.m. Following the banquet, pontoon rides will be offered at Lions Park at 8 p.m.
Children and family events
Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, families can travel from one end of town to the other enjoying the events taking place.
Attendees may stop by the Howard Lake Library to see what interesting books can be found for summer reading. Sloppy joes and strawberry shortcake will be available in the community room above the library.
Families can then cross Highway 12 to The Country Store to pet and feed a giant bunny and the goats, llamas, sheep, kittens, and chickens of Peanut’s Bluff Petting Zoo, which will be there from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
In downtown Howard Lake, the children’s carnival Saturday afternoon will test children’s game-playing skills.
New this year, K&K Bouncers will be available for kids to play on.
Bingo will be played from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the fire hall, and the turtle races will take place at 2 p.m.
As usual, the Howard Lake Royalty and candidates will be at all of the events scheduled throughout the celebration, beginning with the Queen’s Tea, which takes place Thursday at 2 p.m at the Good Samaritan Society-Howard Lake.
The royalty and candidates also play a big part in assisting at the children’s carnival Saturday afternoon.
Although always exciting, the coronation of the 2012-13 Miss Howard Lake should prove to be even more invigorating with six girls vying for the title this year.
Coronation will take place Sunday evening at 6 p.m. at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School Laker Theater.
Before coronation, Miss Howard Lake Danielle Lachermeier and Howard Lake Princess Shannon Fall will travel their last parade route as Howard Lake Royalty at 2 p.m. during the Grande Day Parade.
A new event this year will be a GND golf tournament at The Greens of Howard Lake, beginning at noon Friday, and ending by 3 p.m. Saturday.
Participants may pre-register for the tournament at The Greens. The cost is $80 per foursome. Winners will be announced during the pork chop dinner at the fire hall Saturday evening.
Returning after taking a year off, the Howard Lake Fire Department will be sponsoring a waterball tournament again, with area fire departments competing to see who can handle a fire hose the best.
The tournament will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Middle School parking lot.
The Orphans and Pee Wee Reese baseball tournaments will begin Friday, as well.
The Orphans have expanded its tournament this year, with six teams participating. Two games will be played Friday evening, four games Saturday afternoon and evening, and the championship game will take place Sunday at noon.
New last year, and returning this year, is the bean bag tournament, which will take place Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. If rained out, the tournament will take place Sunday. Registration is $40 per two-person team.
The 30th annual fishing contest will also take place this year at Lions Park, with a pancake breakfast served by the Lions before the tournament begins, and hot dogs and beverages served during the weigh-in at noon.
Other sporting events that will test participants’ physical skills are the rock climbing wall, the one-block run, the paper airplane toss, and an obstacle course taking place Saturday.
Sunday morning, Howard Lakers can test their endurance skills during a 5k Run for the Lake early in the morning.
Another entertaining sporting event for people to watch is the French Lake Wrestling Association Saturday evening.
Plenty of musical entertainment has been planned for the GND celebration, as well.
The band “Unleaded” will be playing behind city hall Friday night, and “Wylee” will provide entertainment Saturday night.
The KRWC Roadshow will be available to provide entertainment from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday near the fire hall.