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Mary Sather, left, and Betty Komula, board member, are looking forward to Heritage Days this weekend. The two have seen a lot change at the Heritage Center over the past 25 years.

Heritage Days celebrates 25 years of local history

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Heritage Days celebrates 25 years of local history
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of Heritage Days, but for Irv and Mary Sather, the first celebration was just yesterday.

"The first one was in 1985," said Mary Sather, curator. "I remember it was raining and Irv (executive director) was out there making trails with straw because there was no grass, no trails, nothing."

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This year Heritage Days weekend, hosted by the New Richmond Heritage Center, runs from Sept. 24 through Sept. 26.

A lot has changed since the Heritage Center first opened its doors, Sather said.

"We started out with three buildings," she said. "The school house was the first building we had moved onto the property."

Volunteers served food from a food cart in 1985, Sather said. Now, the group rents a tent to house the food for the weekend.

The flea market has also changed, she said.

What started as a consignment fundraiser became a weekly flea market by accident, she said.

After the original fundraiser, the event organizers were supposed to collect the items that didn't sell, she said. When they didn't show up, everything was moved to the barn. It sat there for some time before Heritage Center volunteers decided to sell it for the center's profit. Since then, the flea market has continued to grow into what it is today.

"When we first opened up we were happy to get $100 on a Saturday," Sather said. "Now, if we don't hit $2,000 on a Saturday we think we've failed."

The flea market isn't the only aspect experiencing growth. The center recently added another building to the site -- the history shed.

"We're still working on displays in there," Sather said. "We're going to have a lot out that we've never been able to display before."

Although the building will not be ready for this year's Heritage Days, it does give people something to look forward to next year, Sather said.

Also new this year is Civil War re-enactments.

"We're going to have two people in Civil War uniforms shooting off a little canon," Sather said. "That will be new and different."

Much is planned for the weekend. Events will be held rain or shine.

"It is a real community event," said Rachél Starbuck, of the Heritage Center.

Friday

• Spaghetti Dinner, from 4:30-7 p.m., Heritage Center Pavilion. Cost is $7, kids 12 and younger $3.

Saturday:

• Fall Five Mile and 5K Run/Walk. This is an event includes a 1 Mile Kids Race. Registration is at 7 a.m.; run starts at 8 a.m.

• Antique Tractor Pull at 9 a.m. at Doboy, 869 S. Knowles Ave.

• First Youth Triathlon begins at 11 a.m. at The Centre Pool, 428 S. Starr Ave.

Sunday

• Heritage Family Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Event includes pony and stage coach rides, food tent, kids games, craft demonstrations, civil war re-enactors, craft sale, genealogy, free touring of 10 historic buildings, flea market and much more.

Call 715-246-3276 for more information.

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