New events will highlight Rushford Days celebration

By : 
Scott Bestul
Tri-County Record

Armed with some exciting new activities, Rushford Days organizers are ready to kick off the annual celebration next week. “Our theme this year is ‘Be proud and celebrate community,’” said Rushford Days chairman Karen Eich. “We’ve added some new attractions that are designed to appeal to all age groups and make it a week full of fun events for everyone.” 

Among the new activities is “Foam Archery Combat,” where participants are divided into teams, armed with bows, foam arrows, and protective gear. “It’s like paintball without the pain!” said committee member Jen Hengel. “The teams battle for the right to capture a flag as they move around barriers and shoot from behind them,” said Hengel. “We were excited to book this group because it’s really popular with that teen group that, besides the teen dance, hasn’t had much to look forward to in the past.”

Also new for this year will be “Euro Bungee Jumping”, which combines bungee jumping with trampolines and should appeal to anyone with an adventurous spirit, according to Hengel. “There’s a minimum weight limit of 40 pounds, but other than that, if you have a sense of daring and equilibrium better than mine, it should be fun!”

Great music has always been a Rushford Days staple and this year will be no different. Area favorite “Trouble Shooter” (Friday night) will be joined by a pair of new groups, Hengel says. “The ‘CBB Jazz Combo’ will perform Saturday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and features Nathan Davidson, a Rushford native. On Saturday night, the band ‘Hair Metal Radio’ will perform at the dance tent and play all those favorite songs from the 80’s and on. Another Rushford native, Jim Humble, plays with them, and they’ve been a popular addition to other festivals, like Winona’s Steamboat Days.”

Though the Rushford Days Car Cruise and Show has been around for a decade, the event is under fresh guidance this year. Leigh and Kayla Volkman will be joined by AAA Restoration to bring a new look (and schedule) to the cruise (Wednesday evening) and the car show (Saturday afternoon). Look for an expanded lineup of vehicles and participants at each event.

Another new addition to interest sports fans will be Vintage Base Ball, which will be played at the Ben Niggle Sports Complex Saturday afternoon. The Highland Prairie Hayseeds will face off against teams from Rochester, Minn. and Menominee, Wis., in a doubleheader that features 1860’s rules and uniforms. And the RASA play “Mary Poppins” will run a series of performances, their first in the new R-P school auditorium, throughout the week. Finally, anyone interested in a look at the new K-12 school building is invited to join Supt. Ehler for a guided tour on Saturday afternoon.  

Rushford Days organizers are hoping for great weather that will allow a schedule packed with activities to unfold. “Businesses have been so generous in their support of this annual event,” Eich said. “We’re just really looking forward to a fun, family-friendly celebration.” Rushford Days buttons are available at Rushford Foods, Pam’s Corner, and the fest grounds.

Rushford Days Schedule

Monday July 16

 Rushford Days kicks off with the annual Queen Pageant at 7 p.m. in the new R-P school auditorium. The cost for entrance is $5 or free with a Rushford Days button. 

Tuesday July 17

Wine, cheese and beer tasting will be held at the Fest Tent from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature products from area dairies, vinters and craft beer makers. 

There will be a teen swim at the Aquatic Center from 8 p.m.-10 p.m..

Wednesday July 18

 The annual Car Cruise night will start at the Rushford Legion at 6 p.m. Cost is $10, which includes a t-shirt and dinner. The cruise will feature one stop with a meal served at Engelhart Performance, located on Hwy. 16 east of Rushford. 

Opening night for the RASA production of “Mary Poppins” at the R-P auditorium, at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. 

Thursday July 19 

 Teen dance for grades 6-12, featuring music by ”Last Call Meldahl”, from 7-11 p.m. Tickets are $5 or a button.

“Mary Poppins” performance @ R-P auditorium, 7 p.m.

Friday July 20

Food vendors open at 5 p.m. and Bingo will be held at the Fest Grounds from 5-8 p.m.

Registration for the popular “Mutton Bustin” event starts at 6 p.m with event to follow. Open to ages 5-8, with maximum weight of 75 pounds. Cost is $5 or a Rushford Days button.  

RASA production of “Mary Poppins” at 7 p.m. 

At 8 p.m. the Burn Out will be held at Fest Grounds.

Local favorite band Trouble Shooter will perform at the Fest Tent from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Saturday, July 21

At 7 a.m. the annual Shoebox 5K and 1-mile runs will start at the Depot. Also starting at this time is the Masonic Lodge pancake breakfast. 

The photo contest will begin at 9 a.m. at the fest grounds. The softball tournament will begin at Niggle Field Complex at 9 a.m., as will the 3-point and “Hot Shot” basketball competitions at the R-P school gymnasium.

At 9:30 a.m. the annual Pedal Tractor Pull, for ages 4-11, will be held at the Rushford Fire Hall. 

At 10 a.m. registration for the 3-on-3 basketball tournament will begin at the R-P schools gym, with competition to follow. The annual trap shoot will also begin at the Hardwood Country Sportsman’s grounds east of Rushford. 

The Rushford Lions pork chop dinner will be held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Rushford Legion.

Noon is the kick-off time for several Rushford Days events. The annual car show starts at Anderson Auto. Vintage base ball play begins at Niggle Sports Complex. Bingo will kick off again at the Fest Grounds, as will Kiddie train rides and inflatables. The tractor pull competition will begin near Hammell Equipment. 

Supt. Ehler will conduct a tour of the new R-P school building at 12:30 p.m. The “CBB Jazz Combo” will perform at the Fest Tent from 1-4 p.m. 

RASA’s “Mary Poppins” will perform a matinee at 2 p.m. at the R-P auditorium.

At 7 p.m. the annual Grande Parade will be held in downtown Rushford. 

From 9 p.m.- 1 a.m. the band “Hair Metal Radio” will perform in the Fest Tent. 

Sunday, July 22

Registration for the annual tractor ride begins at 8 a.m. at Hammell Equipment. Cost is $15 and includes dinner. An Egg-Bake Breakfast will be held at Montini Hall from 8 a.m.-Noon. 

Results from the photo contest will be posted and displayed from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the Depot.

From 11 a.m.-3p.m. the petting zoo will be held near Hammell Equipment, and the Hog Roast, sponsored by the American Legion Riders, will be held at the Legion will start at 11 a.m. until sold out. 

Two new events, the Euro Bungee Jumper and Foam Archery Combat, will run from 12 -5 p.m. on the Fest Grounds. Kiddie train rides and inflatables will be held at the same time. Registration for the bean bag tournament will begin at noon, with competition to follow. 

Bingo at the Fest Grounds will start at 2 p.m., as will the final matinee performance of “Mary Poppins.”

Rushford Days will conclude with a family dance, held at the Fest Tent, from 5-7 p.m. with music by “Last Call Meldahl.” 

For more information, or to register for events, visit rushforddays.com.