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35th annual Riverfest slated for this weekend

WINDOM — This weekend will be a big one in Windom, as the community hosts its 35th annual Riverfest celebration.

Windom Riverfest Board President Diane Kruger hopes people will come help the community celebrate the town it loves.

“We love WIndom, we love living here, we love the town and we just want to celebrate it,” said Kruger of how she and other community members are dedicated to hosting the annual event. “We have the river going through our area and a beautiful lake in our town, so we try and showcase the different areas of our town that make people want to come here.”

Riverfest events are already well underway. On Monday, Lindsay Muller was crowned Miss Riverfest and Ruby Baloun was crowned Little Miss Riverfest. The medallion hunt is also ongoing throughout the week.

Activities fire back up Thursday, as there will be a King and Queen of Kastle Kingdom obstacle course for children up to age 15.

“That’s a lot of fun for the kids,” Kruger said.

Racers in the Vicki Schendel Fun Run will take off at 6 p.m. Friday, a deviation from the typical Saturday morning start time.

Windom Area High School will be the place to be Friday evening, as it will host the Riverfest Cookout from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as well as children’s activities including inflatables, bean bag toss and Rock n’ Red musical entertainment sponsored by the Windom library.  

“We’re excited to make a fun family night,” Kruger said. “It’s exciting to have so much going on for the kids prior to the fireworks.”

Fireworks are anticipated to make the first bang around 10:15 p.m.

Riverfest will host a variety of sporting activities, beginning bright and early Saturday with the softball tournament at the Windom Recreation Area. Other Saturday sporting activities include: cribbage tournament, 8 a.m., American Lutheran Church; kids fishing tournament, 10 a.m., Cottonwood Lake; Sons of Norway Smorgasbord, 11 a.m., Cottonwood County Historical Society; and baseball tournament, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Island Park. The softball tournament continues all day Sunday.

Other Sunday sporting activities include Windom Pirates baseball tournament, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Island Park; bean bag tournament, 1 p.m. Tegels park; tug of war, 1 p.m., Island Park; and canoe and kayak races, 3 p.m. Des Moines River.

According to Kruger, the five-person team tug of war is new this year.

“It’s a tug of war across the river,” she said. “We’re pretty excited.”

While the canoe and kayak races are tradition, a new division will be added this year for the creative individual to race on a nontraditional device.

Other events include the 6 p.m. grand parade Saturday evening. Lineup will begin at 5 p.m. near Winfair Elementary. A street dance featuring Twin Cities band Bonah and The Whales will entertain a crowd from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday evening in Island Park.

For a full listing of Riverfest festivities, visit Windom Riverfest on Facebook.

Alyssa Sobotka

Alyssa joined The Globe in July 2017 and covers education and crime beats. The Nebraska native earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In her own sarcastic tone, her blog, Aimlessly Navigating, recounts the reality, pitfalls and triumphs of a young 20-something navigating to maturity. Follow her on Twitter: @alyssasobotka