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It's a turkey of a good time

If the town of Frazee has a common thread running through itself, it is turkeys. The town was built on them, after all, with the now-closed Swift Turkey plant being its biggest employment draw for a long time.

What better name, then, to christen the town's biggest annual celebration than Turkey Days?

Frazee is preparing to host its 56th annual Turkey Days celebration this year from Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, the 25. There will be food, there will be fun, and there will be turkeys.

The theme of this year's Turkey Days is "The Bird and the Bees." The Bird represents Frazee's strong connection with the turkey, while the Bees signifies the Frazee High School mascot, the hornet.

The events begin on Thursday, with a memorial service commemorating former students which Karen Gray -- the co-chair of this year's Turkey Days -- described as a "remembrance for alumni that have passed."

There will be an all-school reunion on Thursday. In the context of the reunion, Gray philosophically noted, "the Hornet represents the bees, essentially coming back to the hive for the reunion."

Friday night will be a street dance.

Also on Friday, there will be a car show for Tyler Shipman, who died last year after a battle with cancer.

"It is going to be open to anyone, but there will be quite a few Fieros on display," Gray said. "Fiero was Tyler's car."

Registration for the show is $10 per entry. All proceeds will go to benefit the Roger Maris Cancer Center.

There will be a demo derby on Saturday, at 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday, young ladies will vie for the titles of Miss Frazee and Miss Teen at 7 p.m.

In addition, there will be a road rally, which Gray noted is "kind of a big deal." The theme of this year's road rally is: "The Bees Mean Business."

Sunday morning there will be a church service.

"It will be non-denominational or multi-denominational" Gray said.

Turkey Days will reach a thrilling climax on Sunday, with the famous turkey lunch. Here, visitors will free their inhibitions and eat turkey until their bellies are expanded and their gorges full. Then, they'll eat some more turkey.

In spite of a new theme and a few changes here and there, repeat visitors to Turkey Days will notice many similarities from previous years.

"The events from years past will pretty much remain the same," Gray said.

So don't anticipate -- or fear, whatever your case may be -- a radically different festival from the one you have always known. It will just be more of the good times and camaraderie that you have always known, with some extras thrown in.

Gray would like to thank her "extremely talented" Co-Chair David Jopp -- known to his listeners on KRCQ radio as David Lee -- for assisting her in organizing this year's Turkey Days.