BAXTER – Whether its for laser tag, the tractor pull, the annual softball game or the pie judging contest, you better be ready to throw down this weekend for Baxter Fun Days.
Rain or shine, the town celebration aims to heat things up Friday through Sunday and show potential residents and returning community members what Baxter has to offer.
“This year is kind of bringing people into the community who are interested in all the advancements we are trying to do here, like the Geise Park project and stuff like that,” Baxter Fun Days Committee President Justin Smith said. “For Baxter Fun Days, we try to have something for every age group... It is just a good time.”
According to Smith, this year’s celebration aims to juice up the “Gotcha Games” carnival festivities with a few new additions. This year’s carnival will add a swing and a spin-a-roo, along with the return of a few favorites – the tubs of fun, animal kingdom bounce house and laser tag.
“The swing and the spin-a-roo are pretty big rides,” Smith said. “It will give them a little more to choose from.”
New to this year, the “Iowa History 101” mobile museum will be making a pit stop at the Neil Seales Sport Complex to share the history of the 99 counties in Iowa. The multimedia exhibit in a custom-built Winnebago is a product of the State Historical Museum of Iowa.
According to Smith, LifeFlight crews will also be hosting a presentation at the sports complex. Saturday at the sports complex, there will also be a tractor, semi, truck, car show from noon to 3 p.m. and chainsaw carving from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“For the most part, everything is about the same, we just keep trying to add a little bit every year,” he said.
Making a return to this year’s celebration is the ever popular truck/tractor pull at Chad Floras Field. The event will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. Food and beer will be available at 6 p.m. Admission costs $10. Coolers will not be permitted.
Baxter’s famous firework show will launch following the tractor pull at dusk. According to Smith, the display will be moved to Saturday night if it rains.
The Kids Fun Days Parade makes a comeback Saturday. It will begin at 10:15 a.m., with line up starting at 10 a.m. at the Baxter Family Market. The main parade will follow, starting at 10:30 a.m. Line up for the parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the sports complex.
Organizers ask residents to bring a non-perishable food item to the parade to donate to the Baxter Food Pantry.
“We used to do the parade for kids way back when I was a kid – about 20 years (ago),” Smith said. “We thought it was something cool to bring back. We have been getting a lot of support getting the kids parade back.”
For the second year, the Stars and Strips 5K will gather runners and walkers dressed in red, white and blue at the sports complex Saturday morning to promote wellness and veterans. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with walkers starting at 7:30 a.m. and runners beginning at 8 a.m.
According to event organizers, the proceeds of the event will help support the Baxter Wellness Center. Also, $5 of every registration will be donated to the Jasper County Freedom Flight committee.
Competitors will also be able to throw down at Saturday’s sand volleyball games at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday’s co-ed softball tournament. The pie judging contest and auction, pedal pull, the vendor show and kids water activities will also make a return to the Saturday’s festivities this year.
This year’s street dance on Station Street will feature rock cover band, Slipstream Iowa. The dance will be from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with gates opening at 7 p.m. Admission to the 18-and-up event is $5.
“If you like people who work together and stay together, you have to come up here and see what Baxter has to offer,” Smith said.
The committee has released the celebration’s complete schedule. To view it, check out the Baxter Fun Days’ Facebook page.
Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at email@example.com