2018 festival to serve up ‘Homegrown Holland’September 12, 2018
By BILL POWELL
HOLLAND — Each summer brings its share of picnics and celebrations, but only one festival is serving up “Homegrown Holland.”
Organizers of the annual Holland Community Festival — this year’s event starts Friday and continues into Sunday, mostly in and around Holland Park, 904 N. Meridian St. — always work to highlight people and happenings contributing to Holland’s story. The newest addition to that mosaic delves into agriculture.
“Our community is proud of our agricultural connections, and we decided to celebrate it,” said Holland resident, historian and Cedar Crest Intermediate School teacher Lee Bilderback. “With Prairie Farms, Blesch Brothers Inc. and our local farmers, Holland retains strong ties to its agricultural heritage.”
Underscoring the theme will be antique tractor displays, a barn dance, a farm-to-table breakfast and commemorative farming-themed souvenirs. A trademark leafy tractor logo, as imagined by Woods Printing Co. of Holland, will show up on merchandise on sale at the fest information booth.
In another tradition, Holland creates an annual Christmas ornament, produces just 100 of them, and does not let the public find out what they depict until the fest’s opening ceremony.
Bilderback says this year’s No. 1 ornament will go up for auction at the opening ceremony, with the remainder available after that.
Most fest proceeds go back to the Holland Events Committee to be distributed within the community for worthwhile causes and to offset fest expenses.
New to this year’s festival will be amusement rides.
“The kids have begged us for the past five years, so we are going to give it a shot,” said Andrea Peters, president of the festival committee.
A stumbling block had been a scarcity of level ground at the park, but organizers figured out a way to place six rides around the trademark windmill at the park’s entrance.
“There should be rides to interest all ages,” Peters said.
Other new offerings include an alumni barn dance (open to all festgoers) at 6:30 p.m. Friday, a farm-to-table breakfast (Farm Credit Mid-America is the presenting sponsor and the Dutch Workers 4-H Club gets the proceeds) from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Henke Stadium, a Kids Fun Run added to the annual Tulip Trot 5K at 8 a.m. Saturday and a Holland Volunteer Fire Department Jeep Run that takes off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday from the Holland American Legion.
Organizers were also on target when lining up volunteers willing to make a splash this year as dunk tank volunteers. Friday night’s lineup includes Holland’s Dr. Ryan Flamion, Rev. David Darling and leading Holland citizens Kru Allen and Richard Mangel. Saturday might as well be Wet Raider Day, with volunteers willing to climb into the tank including football coaches Scott Buening, Steve Winkler and Kenny Peacock; baseball coaches Andy McKeough and Brian Craig; and even Holland Elementary School Principal John Seger, among others.
Peters, who looks forward to seeing Holland roll out the red carpet, notes that there will be handicap parking and a shuttle service at the park.
“The planning committee is excited to visit with old friends and make new ones while raising money to directly impact our community,” she said.
4-5 p.m. Jacob Payne live music
5 p.m. Carnival rides, food and game booths open
5-7 p.m. Sparrow & Crandall live music
5:30 p.m. Opening ceremony
6 p.m.-midnight Beer garden open
6:30 p.m. Little Miss & Mister and Junior Miss & Mister contests, Alumni Barn Dance
7 p.m. Horseshoe tournament
8 p.m.-midnight Retro Shock performs
8-10 a.m. Farm-to-table breakfasts available
8 a.m. 5K run, walk and Kids Fun Run
9 a.m. Food and game booths open
9:30 a.m. Holland Volunteer Fire Department Jeep Run (departs from Holland American Legion), dog show sponsored by Happy Tails
10 a.m. Chili cook-off registration
11 a.m. 3 on 3 basketball tournament, kiddie tractor pull, cornhole tournament registration
11:30 a.m. Chili judging
Noon Ice cream eating contest
1 p.m. Silly Safaris, horseshoe tournament
1:30 p.m. Carnival rides
2-4 p.m. Bingo with cash prizes
3-6 p.m. Obstacle course
3-5 p.m. Sparrow & Crandall perform
3:30-5 p.m. Pony rides
4:30 p.m. Keg toss (registration 4 p.m.)
5 p.m.-midnight Beer garden open
5:30-7:30 p.m. The High Road performs
6:30 p.m. Talent show
8 p.m.-midnight Eighty-Sixt performs
8:30-11:30 p.m. Mechanical bull riding
10 a.m. Community church service
11 a.m. Food and game booths open, dinners served by Holland American Legion
11:30 a.m. Raffle winners announced
Note: Events take place at Holland Park, 904 N. Meridian St., unless otherwise noted.
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