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Frazee Turkey Days is next weekend

For 60 years the Frazee Community has celebrated Turkey Days with parades and dozens of other community-inspired events. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Folks in Frazee are getting all geared up for their event of the year — the 60th annual Turkey Days.

“Not only does this bring a lot of people in from outside of the area, but it also brings back a lot of people who grew up in Frazee and have moved away but make it a tradition to come back for Turkey Days,” said one of the chairs of the big event, Daneele Shipman.

“So it ends up being sort of like a great big family reunion.”

That huge Frazee “family reunion” begins Friday, July 25, at high noon and goes through Sunday evening. In between, the action is seemingly non-stop.

Over 60 different events are sprinkled throughout the weekend, and when coming up with new events for 60 years of a turkey-loving celebration, Frazee residents march to the beat of their own drum-sticks.

“A new event this year is the beard contest that’s related to the ‘Turkey Dynasty’ theme, and apparently there are official Beard Team USA rules that they will be judging by,” laughed Shipman, who quickly stopped laughing. “I’m sure there are people out there who take it very seriously. It should be cute, though.”

The beard contest is Saturday at 3 p.m. at the VFW.

Shipman says while the Frazee Community Club puts on the event, its members can’t take credit for all the new event ideas.

“It’s the people of Frazee who come up with these new, fun ideas, and it is always interesting to hear what they come up with,” said Shipman.

Also new this year is a Spaghetti Feed at the Event Center starting at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. The event is being put on by the Frazee High School band as a fundraiser for its upcoming trips.

An event that’s growing in popularity in other parts of the country is being held for the first time during Turkey Days this year — a Power Wheels Derby.

“This should be fun to watch,” giggled Shipman, who says the derby is being held Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Fire Hall.

“Bring your own Power Wheels,” she added.

Another new event is the Family Outdoor Movie Night, which starts at 9:30 p.m. on Friday night, adjacent to the Harvest Fellowship Church. “God’s Not Dead” will be playing; pizza and pop will be available for purchase.

Speaking of pizza, new to Turkey Days this year is a pizza eating contest at All In All gas station.

“This is just for the fun of it,” said Shipman. “It’s $10 to participate and you get a T-shirt and all the pizza you can eat.” The contest is being held Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Another new event is the first ever Gordon Sanders Memorial Breakfast at 7 a.m. in the VFW. The Frazee resident who has passed away was a veteran and a charter member of the VFW Post 7702 out of Frazee.

In addition to all the new events is the always popular annual events that help make Turkey Days thrive.

One of those events runs close to Shipman’s heart – the 5th annual Tyler Shipman Memorial Car Show, a tribute to Daneele’s son who passed away from cancer four and a half years ago.

“So a lot of the guys who restored his car come back every year for this,” said Shipman, who says the event that draws in over 100 cars has so far raised roughly $15,000 for scholarships.

“If you would have asked me five years ago if this show would still be going, I’d have thought no, but it’s been so successful,” said Shipman, who adds that they have people coming from all of the U.S. for the event. “I’m just so happy about that.”

The car show is Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Another young life lost too soon from the Frazee community will also be honored through celebration Saturday with the Beast Mode Challenge.

The event is in honor of 17-year-old Merle Schermerhorn, who passed away in December of 2011. The athletic young man known for his “Beast Mode” mantra is the inspiration behind the event that begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the football field.

The new events, the inspired events, the just-for-fun events — they all make up a roster of activities that pulls the town together in celebration for three days.

For a list of those events with times and locations, visit