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Ox Cart Days 2017 Kicks off Aug. 17

Members of the Star Prairie Royal Court waved to the crowd during the 2016 Ox Cart Days Grand Parade. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia

Star Prairie's 2017 version of Ox Cart Days kicks off Thursday evening, Aug. 17, at the ball field with a 5K Walk/Run to benefit the St. Croix County Sheriff's K-9 Unit. Registration opens at 4:30 p.m. followed by the run at 6 p.m.

You can load up before the race at the Chicken & Corn Feed sponsored by Deer's Bar & Grill and Southern Imports Catering beginning at 5 p.m. Restock your freezer with meat from the meat raffle at 6 p.m.

If running is not your speed, work off your chicken and corn at the new Bean Bag Fun Tournament beginning at 6 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Kids games and face painting will be available all evening.

Exhausted from the run and tossing bean bags? Pull up a seat for the Old-Timers softball game at 8 p.m.

Friday's festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with the start of the weekend-long softball tournament. If Bingo is more your speed, it begins at 7 p.m. followed by the Street Dance at 8 p.m. featuring the music of F N Radio with lead vocalist Taryn Meister.

The softball tournament continues, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the ballfield. After warming up Thursday night, the serious bean bag tournament gets under way at 11 a.m. Saturday with sign up at 10 a.m. Cost is $10 per person.

Kids can catch a ride on Emery's Train starting at noon while parents peruse the seventh annual Vendor Craft Sale also starting at noon.

Cool off in the Apple River at the Canoe Race sponsored by the Apple River Inn. Sign up at the Apple River Inn beginning at noon, get wet at 1 p.m. for $10 per person.

The Wildlife Rescue Petting Zoo opens at 1 p.m. Additional activities for kids including games, face painting, dog kart rides and Story Walk sponsored by First National Community Bank open at 2 p.m. Pickles the Clown will be tickling funny bones starting at 2 p.m.

End your day with a little B.I.N.G.O. starting at 6 p.m. and lace up your dancing shoes for the Street Dance at 8 p.m. featuring the music of 70's Magic Sunshine Band.

Start your Sunday off with the Pancake Breakfast at the Bingo Building at 8 a.m. followed by the Bethany Lutheran Church Service at the ball field at 9:30 a.m.

Do not miss all the glitz and glamour at the Queen's Tea starting at 11 a.m. at River Island Park. The Kiddie Parade kicks off at 1:45 p.m. followed by the Grand Parade featuring Grand Marshal Bette Stephens at 2 p.m. But it is not over yet!

Don't miss your chance to win at the raffle drawing, 50/50 drawing and kayak drawing which will take place two hours after the parade at the ball field. All proceeds go to the Lions Club. Winners of the Medallion Hunt will also be announced at that time.

Lions Club organizer Chris Boardman emphasized the opportunity to help out New Richmond School District students with the Stuff the Bus Campaign at this year's festival.

"We are really trying to promote the Stuff the Bus Campaign this year. We'd like to do as much as possible. Money from the Campaign will be used to purchase school supplies for students in the New Richmond School District. We'll also be collecting used eyeglasses, cell phones and hearing aids all weekend. Those will go to Lions Club International," said Boardman.

Ox Cart Days is presented annually by the Star Prairie Lions Club. For more information visit the Lions Club website at oxcartdays.htm or contact Boardman at 715-377-6915.