See the Red Rooster Days preview section of the Enterprise Dispatch for a full schedule of events.
BY STARRLA CRAY
DASSEL, MN It’s Red Rooster time, and this year, military service men and women will be in the spotlight.
“It’s time to honor those who have sacrificed so much for us,” parade coordinator Larry Oberg said.
As a special one-time tribute, local veterans Aleda Swanson and Kermit Swanson will be honored as military grand marshals in the parade. Aleda had been a nurse in the military, and Kermit was featured on the PBS Nova program “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets” for his glider pilot efforts in World War II.
Along with Aleda and Kermit, American Legions and VFWs from area communities will lead the grande day parade, which begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5.
“We have a lot of veterans coming this year,” said Dan Paulson, assistant parade coordinator.
The theme is, “We will never forget, we will always remember, and we will always be proud.”
Among other milestone anniversaries, 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, and the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first US combat troops in south Vietnam.
A total of 160 units were signed up for the parade as of mid-last week, up from 128 last year.
Red Rooster Days officially starts Friday, Sept. 4, and goes through Monday, Sept. 7.
Festivities begin with the Dassel Farmers Market from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday on Atlantic Avenue. The “Wizard of Oz” will be shown at the Dassel Ball Park starting at 8:15 p.m.
Saturday morning starts with an 18-mile bike ride, and a seven-mile bike ride, both beginning at Breeds Park.
At 10 a.m., Jeff Lindquist will give a Dassel History Center presentation, and a fine arts show will take place at the center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A co-ed beanbag toss tournament at Thirsty’s Tavern will start at 12:30 p.m.
After the 3 p.m. parade, a barbecue, pie, and ice cream social will take place at Gethsemane Lutheran Church.
Ambassadors will be crowned at 7 p.m. in the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center.
“Beggars Dance” will provide entertainment for the street dance, which starts at 8 p.m.
A 10:30 a.m. community worship service at Gethsemane Lutheran Church leads the day Sunday, followed by lunch at the church social hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The fine arts show will be on display at the history center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a mini rod tractor pull will take place on Atlantic Avenue at 2 p.m.
A quilt show will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. at Dassel Covenant Church, and a brat feed at Spring Lake Park will take place from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Rain or shine, fireworks will be shot off at dusk at Spring Lake Park.
The final day of Red Rooster festivities begins with a run/walk at Dassel Ball Park at 8:30 a.m. Registration starts at 7 a.m. (The youth fun run was cancelled due to lack of participants.)
The Dassel History Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature the fine arts show.
The largest chicken barbecue in Minnesota will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dassel Ball Park.
During that time, residents and visitors can also enjoy a classic car and antique tractor show, a golden egg hunt, concessions, exhibits, a beer garden, children’s inflatables, a quilt show, and musical entertainment.