GARNER | The city of Garner’s largest event of the summer is quickly approaching.
And when it returns, it’ll bring food, fun and entertainment for all ages to enjoy.
“Between everything we have, even if you just come up for an hour, you’ll have fun,” said Amber Jenniges, Garner Chamber of Commerce executive director.
The 38th annual Duesey Days celebration, which is organized by the Garner Chamber of Commerce, will take place Friday and Saturday.
The festivities will kick off at 4 p.m. Friday with “a good all-around variety” of more than 50 food and craft vendors and inflatables downtown. The vendors and inflatables will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 11 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
A Chamber dinner will be held at 5 p.m. in Central Park, followed by a corn-hole tournament 5:30 to 8 p.m. on the south side of the park. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and costs $10 per two-person team.
On the stage, Just Listen Entertainment will provide music at 4 p.m.; Hanson Family Entertainment will take the stage at 5 p.m. and the Little Miss Duesey Days contest will begin at 6 p.m.
Jenniges said this year’s contest, which is for 6- and 7-year-olds, features 15 contestants. The winner will have the opportunity to interview Jim Jass, the Duesey Days’ grand marshal, and appear in the parade Saturday morning.
Jass, who managed Hancock County Co-op Oil, served as Garner Fire chief and has volunteered his time to various businesses and organizations throughout town, was named this year’s grand marshal because he’s “made a difference” in Garner, she said.
At 7 p.m., Levey the Great, a hypnotist whose been providing family entertainment in North Iowa for more than 15 years, will take the stage.
Then, from 8 to 10 p.m., an activity night for fifth- through eighth-grade students will be held at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center, where basketball, volleyball, Xbox and music will be available.
A movie in the park will be shown from 9 to 11 p.m. for students in ninth grade and older.
“It’s a fun time,” said Jenniges, who dubbed Friday as the “real big family night.”
Live entertainment will be available at the Garner VFW Post with 4th & Mabel performing from 8 p.m. to midnight and at Mat’s Place with Spenser Rahm playing at 9 p.m. on Friday.
Saturday’s events will begin at 7:45 a.m. with the Duesey Days 2-mile and 10K races starting and finishing at Central Park in Garner.
A parade featuring more than 100 entries will start at Concord Care Center and end at Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company.
“We always get compliments about our parade,” said Jenniges, who’s been with the Garner Chamber since 2016.
The Duesey D’Arts Art Show is 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the library. A balloon artist and face painting will be available from noon to 4 p.m. in the park. There will also be a beer garden, bingo, archery and children’s water ball fights.
The Duesey Days Show & Shine Car Show, which is held rain or shine, is noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday on State Street.
Registration is from 9 a.m. to noon. Awards will be given for Mayor’s Choice, Best Paint, Best Engine, Overall Showstopper and Chamber’s Choice.
“It’s a really big hit,” Jenniges said. “Usually we have a really good turnout, and people come and look at the cars.”
Saturday will also bring two new events: Community Feud and Charity, Chores & More Auction.
The auction, which features donated services like yard work, home-cooked meals for farmers in the fall and one dessert a month for six months, is 1 to 2 p.m. on the stage in Central Park.
Proceeds from the auction will go to 5 Loaves 2 Fish and God’s Pantry in Garner.
Community Feud is 2:30 to 4 p.m. on the stage in Central Park, where businesses and alumni classes will go head-to-head to earn bragging rights.
“It’s fun to see the whole town together,” Jenniges said.
The stage will also feature Nichole’s Dance from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and vocal performances between events performed by Angie Pringnitz, Minor Details Quartet and “Elvis.”
The stage will be moved from the park to State Street in the evening for the Standing Hampton Band performance from 8 p.m. to midnight. Doors open for the concert at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Individuals must be 21 years old to attend.
This year, because the event isn’t held the same weekend as Bicycle, Blues & BBQ in Clear Lake, Jenniges hopes the event will draw even more people to Garner.
“That might bring some people in that haven’t been here before or people who haven’t been here in years,” she said. “We hope they come and see the growth.”
For more information about Duesey Days, visit www.garneriachamber.com.