BY ASHLYN BUTLER
PCC ISU Intern
DENMARK – Throngs were bustling through Denmark’s Star Park over the weekend to participate in the town’s annual Heritage Days Festival, which for the first time ever featured a competitive cookout.
The 13th annual Heritage Days Festival started at 7 a.m. on Friday with the registration of engines and tractors and ended with the traditional tractor parade at noon on Sunday. People from Denmark and the surrounding area gathered together to shop different vendors and food stands.
The festival is a chance for locals to show off their tractors and engines as well as their cooking skills. Some other special activities include a horse carriage ride around the town, the Mr. and Miss Heritage Days contest for kids between the ages of four and ten years old, and the West Burlington Fire Department bringing down its fire house for kids to see what an actual house fire is like, as well as learning fire safety from real firefighters.
Gayla Young, who has helped run the event throughout the years said the event is a chance for newcomers and past residents to get a fresh look at the community.
“I’ve seen people this weekend that have moved away that have come back for this. People have been able to really see our community really close up,” Young said.
DeAnne Boner, who has also helped in putting on the event said the point of the event is to get together with others and enjoy the weekend.
“Just get together and just have a good time and visit. Nobody takes the time to sit and socialize.”
She also urged people to check out the Denmark Heritage Days Facebook page for more information about what the Heritage Days Festival holds at https://www.facebook.com/DenmarkHeritageDays/
“We have just a little bit for everyone…the church is involved, the firemen are involved…” said Boner.
The closing day of the festival holds the most popular event – the tractor parade. People who register their tractors and other vehicles have the opportunity to participate in the parade along with the Denmark Fire Department.
“The parade is “where it all started,” said Young, expressing the importance of the community coming together.
“This face-to-face is what we need,” she said.
The Denmark Heritage Days Festival takes place in the first weekend of June. Young and Boner said the best way to understand the importance of the festival is for people to come check it out themselves.