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Fairmont’s IHD festival starts Friday

FAIRMONT — This weekend’s forecast calls for pleasant temperatures, with a 100 percent chance of fun as Fairmont celebrates Interlaken Heritage Days.

“All our food vendors are really excited. Our flea market vendors are excited. I hope the weather holds and lots of people come out. It’s a big undertaking for us,” said IHD board member Laura Dunker.

Events kick off Friday with a free community meal from 5-7:30 p.m. at Heritage Acres. The Martin County Pork Producers will grill meat for the meal, with music provided by Steve Lang and Bob Petrowiak.

Other events Friday include a free car seat check from 4-6 p.m. at the Fairmont fire station and “touch a truck” from 5-7 p.m. in the west parking lot at Fairmont High School.

Most Saturday activities take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Heritage Acres, but Gomsrud Park will host Sunday events from noon to 4 p.m. A full listing of the times and locations is advertised in today’s Sentinel and will be repeated in an ad in Friday’s paper.

Dunker said the popularity of last year’s flea market and artisan show lured additional vendors from three states to this year’s event.

“We had a really good turnout last year,” she said. “There’s a lot of new vendors coming that have never been here before. It’s not a huge number, but we have a lot of different things.”

Youngsters will enjoy jumping on the inflatables, sponsored by Olson Rentals of Fairmont, a balloon artist, caricatures and face painting, activities that are offered both Saturday and Sunday.

While most IHD events are free, there is a charge for these particular activities, but the IHD committee strives to offer them at a minimal cost. All-day wrist bands for the inflatables are $5, but a single bounce session is $1. Balloons are $1, and face painting runs from $3 to $8. A caricature of a single subject is $5, with the cost increasing with each additional subject.

“Any proceeds we get will go towards the 2020 IHD event,” Dunker said. “It takes a lot of money to make this project happen every year so any time we can raise money, we like to keep going. We don’t really stop. It’s year-round, one year right into the next.”

The kiddie parade starts at 5 p.m., with lineup at Citizens Park and traveling through Downtown Plaza.

The grand parade, always the highlight of Interlaken Heritage Days, will start at 6 p.m. and follow the same route as last year. Entries will line up along Lake Avenue near Heritage Acres and follow Lake Avenue, turning onto Downtown Plaza and continuing on North North Avenue, ending at Lincoln Park.

Saturday will culminate with a street dance featuring IV Play starting at 8 p.m. on First Street between Downtown Plaza and Park Street.

The fun moves to Gomsrud Park on Sunday afternoon with new art projects and, hopefully, free pontoon rides sponsored by Walmart and hosted by Let’s Go Fishing.

“The pontoon rides are new — if we can still make those happen with the high lake levels,” Dunker said. “They actually ended up taking out the dock that Let’s Go Fishing uses at Gomsrud Park. It’s a fixed dock at a level they need for their pontoon. When the lake rose, it drowned their dock.”

Throughout the afternoon, the Fairmont Fire Ladies Auxiliary will be operating free kids games.

“They helped us out last year with some carnival games, and they are coming back this year,” Dunker said. “The games are free, but the auxiliary is collecting free-will donations to raise money for the fireworks.

Current information about IHD is available online at the organization’s Facebook page, ihdfairmont, and at www.fairmont.org

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