After Garner’s Duesey Days 2020 celebration of 150 years was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 Duesey Days on July 8-11 were both welcome and successful despite some rainy weekend weather.
A common theme of this year’s event was celebrating Garner’s 150 years (1870-2020), plus one – denoting the year lost due to COVID-19. The Garner Chamber of Commerce, which organizes Duesey Days, planned its return in this 151st year, including the Garner All-Class Reunion that was postponed last year.
Evelyn Greiman, Pearl Barkema, Laura Schaben, and Marv Schoneman, all Garner centenarians, served as grand marshals for the 150-years-plus-one Duesey Days parade on July 10. Video interviews with them were compiled for viewing at the Garner Chamber of Commerce booth in Central Park on July 9-10. A video history of Garner was also shown at this year’s Duesey Days celebration.
Rain preceded and followed the 10 a.m. parade on July 10, but onlookers found space downtown under the cover of business overhangs, including the roof over the drive-through lanes of Clear Lake Bank & Trust – Garner. Many Garner alumni celebrating their class reunions that night participated in the morning parade on trailers and floats.
“At least the rain held off for the parade,” longtime Hancock County Supervisor Sis Greiman said during a break during the July 12 supervisors meeting. “I think afterward everyone sought shelter.”
County auditor Michelle Eisenman agreed, saying “we wanted it to rain, just not on Duesey Days.”
Events were still held, including and Mister and Misses Sesquicentennial Contest, tractor pull, and a family street dance on State Street on July 8. A corn-hole tournament, children’s recreational activities, and Chamber dinner were held on July 9. Ireland Schoneman was also crowned as Little Miss Duesey that evening.
A 10-kilometer/2-mile race, parade, balloon artist, inflatables, welding booth and contest, beard contest, car show, retro video game tournament, water ball courtesy the Garner Fire Department, the all-class reunion, concert bands, a farmers market, and community church service and hymn sing provided weekend highlights. Crafts vendors touted their wares every day.
Garner authors Blair Greiman, Carter Niemeyer, and Rachel Prohaska signed and sold copies of books they have written at the Garner Public Library. The bands Sorry for Last Night and the Mud Dogs provided musical entertainment.
Rob Hillesland is community editor for the Summit-Tribune. He can be reached at 641-421-0534, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.