Summer festival set Aug. 8-11 in Vergas
Join the Vergas community in celebrating Looney Daze, August 8-11. The weekend will be packed with activities and fun for the entire family.
The crowning of Miss Vergas and Princess Altona at the pageant on Thursday will start off the festivities. Come to the Vergas Event Center at 7 p.m. to cheer on the talented contestants. Admission is $10.
Friday, Aug. 9
Sharpen your detective skills with the Looney Loon Egg Hunt. Clues leading to the egg’s location will be posted on Facebook and in several local businesses beginning Friday at 10 a.m.
Residents of Vergas and the surrounding area will band together to host an area wide rummage sale, and maps can be picked up Goodman’s Supermarket to begin the hunt for some new treasures.
The Methodist Church Flea Market will also begin on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot, and will also be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
A beer garden will open at 5 p.m., and will also open at noon on Saturday and Sunday.
The Road Rally registration begins at 4:30, for $10 a team, and the event kicks off at 5 p.m.
Grab some friends and head to trivia at 5 p.m.
The Jr. Royalty Vergas Pageant will be held in the Event Center at 6:30 p.m.
Finish Friday with a toe-tapping crescendo with the music of Poitin, a talented band from Fargo. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. on the Main Stage by Hanson’s Plumbing and Heating.
Saturday, Aug. 10
Fuel up for a busy day at the Vergas Lions biscuit and gravy breakfast. The meal will be served from 7 to 10 a.m. in the Vergas Event Center, and cost is $6 per person.
Work off those extra biscuits you ate at breakfast at the 5K run or walk. Registration begins at 7 a.m., and the race starts at 8. Register early to ensure you get a shirt to commemorate the occasion.
Enjoy the beautiful Loon Park and lake with the J & K Marine sponsored Kids Fishing Tournament from 8-10 a.m.
Stroll through the Street Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Enter your pint-sized four legged friend in the Wiener Dog Nationals. This is the first year the event will be held in Vergas, and race coordinator Digger Anderson has been hard at work in preparation.
All dachshunds and similarly short-legged pups are welcome to race, and registration opens at 10 am, followed by a practice run, or “Hot Laps” at 11 am. The events commence at noon on the Vergas Ball Park, and are sure to put a smile on your face. Anderson said it will be a “dual race- sprint and really low hurdles.”
“It’s funnier than all get out,” Anderson said of watching the Wiener races.
Check out the Vergas Fire Department at their open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Get your game face on for some exciting rounds of Bingo. The Vergas Lions will host the games beginning at 10:30 a.m. Blackout Bingo begins at 12:30 and runs until 2:30 p.m.
Sample some tasty homemade salsas at the Crossroads Garden Center Salsa Tasting Contest at 10 a.m.
Fun for the whole family will be provided with the Scripture Races, Bible songs, and puppets sponsored by Lakes Area Word Fellowship Church at 10:30 a.m.
Show off your awesome hand-eye coordination at the horseshoe tournament sponsored by Billy’s Corner Bar.
A favorite tradition of Looney Daze is the Loon Calling Contest. Registration opens at noon, and the contest begins at 1 p.m. on the Main Stage. Carol Sharp, coordinator of the competition, said the contest has been held annually for almost 30 years.
Participants in the Loon Calling Contest are divided into three age categories — 8 years old and younger, 9-15, and 16 and older. Each group will take the stage, performing their calls for an enthusiastic audience and three judges.
Three finalists will be selected to compete for the Grand Calling, and an emcee will ask loon trivia during the event. Winners receive Looney Bucks, which Sharp said can “be redeemed at any of the Community Club Businesses.”
“It’s just a fun event for all,” Sharp said of this community celebration of Vergas and its ties to the iconic Loon.
Games for the kids will be offered at 2 p.m. for ages 6-12 at the Lions Park.
Celebrate the art of square dancing, and learn a couple of steps yourself at the Square Dancing Expo and Lesson at 2:30 in the Main Stage area.
The Crossroads Garden Center will provide a scavenger hunt and story time at 3 p.m.
Enjoy a performance from the Wee Willie Polka Band from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the Main Stage area. A freewill donation will be collected at the event will be used to offset the cost.
Use up whatever energy you have left over from a full day of exciting Looney Daze events at the Street Dance. A $5 cover will start at 6 p.m., and Boomtown will rock the night from 8 p.m. to midnight with a diverse array of musical styles.
Sunday, Aug. 11
Check out some awesome automobiles at the Classic Car Show on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
St. John’s Lutheran Church is hosting an outdoor service at 10 a.m. Bring some lawn chairs, and enjoy worship in the great outdoors.
Registration and line-up for the Looney Daze Parade begins at noon by Railway Avenue and Linden.
The Classic Car Parade provides another chance to admire the vehicles, and will begin at 1 p.m.
The Vergas Looney Daze Parade will celebrate the community and provide entertainment for all ages at 2 p.m. Karmen Bruhn is organizing the parade for the second year, and said that last year, “we had about 50 entrants, and we’re hoping to have more this year.”
Those participants include local businesses, the VFW, area churches, the newly crowned Miss Vergas and Princess Altona royalty, the Perham Chamber of Commerce, politicians, the Vergas Fire Department, and a performance from the Frazee Marching Band, among many others. Bruhn estimates that the parade has been an area tradition for at least 40 years.
“My favorite part of Looney Daze is just the fact that it gives our family and friends who have moved out of the area to return for a visit,” Bruhn said. “It’s kind of a Vergas reunion.”
The Strong Man and Woman Contests and Sheaf Toss will follow the parade on Main Street. The fun of the Water Fights will follow the contest, and will be hosted by the Vergas Fire Department.
Head to the event center from 3 to 6 p.m. to savor pulled pork sandwiches, pie and ice cream, musical entertainment, and time spent with friends and neighbors at the meal hosted by St. Paul’s as a fundraiser.
A weekend of activity will culminate in the TIP 100 plus Ten Raffle at Billy’s Corner Bar at 8 p.m., providing a chance to win some great prizes.
And while in Vergas for Looney Daze, be sure to pay a visit to the World’s Largest Loon, towering at 20 feet tall as it overlooks Long Lake.
For more details about the 2013 Looney Daze, visit the Facebook page or follow the link provided at cityofvergas.com, where registration forms for the parade, Wiener Dog Races, and 5K run or walk can be found.
Libby Larson | DL-Online