By Starrla Cray
Fireworks, softball, parade, bingo, food, craft fair, music . . . the list of activities at New Germany’s 125th anniversary celebration (July 13-15) is nearly as long as the town’s existence.
“I think we’ve done a good amount of planning,” 125th anniversary committee secretary Shirley Jaeger said. “I just feel that we are going to have a great festival.”
The excitement kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, July 13 with a historical display in the city hall basement. The food and beer stands will open on Broadway Street, as well as the souvenir stand in the fire barn. At the same time, a Chopper softball tourney will take place at Lindstrom Park.
The bands, Bingo and Tuxedo, will alternate sets under the big tent from 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
One highlight of the evening is “memory tree lighting” on Broadway Street at 9:45 p.m. For $1, individuals can have a name put on a light, in memory or in honor of someone. The strings of lights will go on the tree, and will be lit periodically throughout the year.
Several events Saturday, July 15 will start at 8 a.m., including the 5K adult run. The race will start at County Road 33, and will be followed by the children’s run at 8:30 a.m.
“Saturday is kids’ day, and we will have a lot of activities geared to our younger generation,” Jaeger noted. “There will also be a bike giveaway.”
A few of the children’s activities include a medallion hunt, pony rides, petting zoo, bounce house, hair styling, and games.
“We also have Sneaky the Clown coming out,” committee member Genoa Henning said.
Plenty of enjoyment is planned for adults, as well.
The craft fair and softball tournament start at 9 a.m., and the antique car show begins at 10 a.m.
The car show will have four categories: 1930s and earlier, 1931 to present, hot rods/modifieds, and trucks.
“There are no deadlines and no entry fees just show up,” organizer John Eberle said.
The public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite vehicle. Top vote getters in each class will receive a custom-made trophy. The trophies (on display at Heimey’s Place) were designed by Eberle.
“They’re one-of-a-kind,” he said.
People who vote for their favorite vehicle will also have the opportunity to win prizes. Names will be drawn for various gift certificates, theater tickets, car maintenance supplies, alcoholic beverages, and more.
Special trophies will also be awarded for the antique tractor show, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 15.
“There will be two categories,” organizer Jim Borka said. “One is for tractor only, and the other is for a tractor with equipment.”
Top three places in each category will receive a trophy, based on a “people’s choice” vote.
People who’d like to participate in the show do not need to sign up ahead of time. To make the unloading process easier, Borka said he prefers entrants to come in on the west end of town.
An old-fashioned corn shelling demonstration will also take place during the show.
Sunday morning will feature a church service under the tent, beginning at 9 a.m., as well as a grand parade in downtown New Germany at 1 p.m.
An assortment of food will be available throughout the weekend.
Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hamburg will serve grilled ribs at noon July 14, and B’s on the River will serve a pulled pork dinner at 10 a.m. July 15.
Other treats include concession stand items, hamburgers, pork burgers, hot dogs, cheese curds, mini donuts, sno-cones, lemonade, and more.
Music will be in high supply throughout the weekend, with DiamondBack, the Kevin Lang Band, Singing Friends, The Highliners, Chuck Thiel and the Jolly Ramblers, the Old Tyme Band, and Schell’s Hobo Band.
For more information about New Germany’s 125th celebration, contact chairman Steve VanLith at (952) 353-2257 or go to www.newgermany125.com.