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Kiddie Parade joins Heartland Days lineup

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The Grand Parade won't be the only parade this Hammond Heartland Days. The kids will get a parade all their own, organized by the Hammond Community Library. Library director Michelle Johnson said she felt the event would help kids build self-esteem.

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"It gives them a chance to shine as a part of a big community event," said Johnson. "There should be a spot for children in community events too.

Any children are welcome to enter the kiddie parade either by calling the Hammond Library to sign up ahead of time, or coming to the library in their costume at 12:10 p.m. on Sunday. The Kiddie Parade theme is superheroes, but Johnson said other costumes will also be welcome. The children will line up in their costumes at the library at 12:10 p.m. The Kiddie parade will start at 12:20 p.m. at the library and will run about two blocks from the library.

The Grand Parade will start at 12:30 p.m., immediately after the Kiddie Parade. There were around 85 entries as of Aug. 2, according to Linda Hawkins of the Hammond Lions Club Heartland Days Committee. The parade will be led by grand marshal Leon Hawkins, right after the American Legion honor guard, in his horse-drawn wagon. Leon Hawkins will be joined by his family.

Sunday will also feature a meat raffle during the karaoke contest, put on by the Hammond Snow Drifters. The meat will come from Roberts Grocery. People will be able to buy raffle tickets for $2 each.

Other Heartland Day highlights include:

Thursday

There will be a free appreciation dinner sponsored by associated bank with brats, hot dogs, potato salad, beans and chips at 5 p.m.

There are area garage sales beginning Thursday, running through Saturday. Thursday night also features live music with Trigger Happy, and the presentation of the Heartland Award and the grand marshal.

People have been voting for the Hammond person they think has the biggest heart for three weeks. The votes were collected Aug. 3 and tallied. The person who receives the most votes will receive the Heartland Award.

The kids' pedal tractor pull is also on Thursday, with open sign-up at 6 p.m.

Another large Thursday event is the baby show. All the babies that enter the baby show, and their families are invited to walk in the parade, according to Lori Devall, who runs the baby show.

"We really hope to get a lot of the contestants in the parade," Devall said.

Friday

Friday night features the Hammond Pageant at the middle school, during which the new Miss Hammond Queen will be crowned from one of the four candidates: Abbie Constant, Brittany Doornink, Kayla Boyd and Makayla Campion. The first and second princesses and Miss Congeniality will also be selected at that time.

Friday also kicks off the Men's Softball tournament. The tournament features 14 area softball teams. Softball tournament coordinator Tim Myer said the farthest a team is coming from to participate in the tournament is Menomonie.

Saturday

On Saturday "of course the car show is the big deal," Hawkins said. The 2012 Heartland Days will feature the 25th annual United Fire and Rescue Hammond Station Car Show. In a press release, United Fire and Rescue said awards will be presented to the top 50 entries and the top 10 trucks, rather than dividing entries into classes. United Fire and Rescue said this change should bring in more entries. There is a $10 entry fee with registration beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Live music by Bernie "The RockMan" Rock will be provided.

Another Saturday event is the panther pant 5k run/walk. Registration is at 7:30 a.m., and the fee is $15. There will also be Bingo, Texas Hold'em, and Euchre tournaments in the park with prizes awarded to winners. Registration starts at noon for Texas hold'em. Euchre registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and the tournament begins at 1 p.m. Bingo runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday also features the Craft Fair running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the street.

Sunday

The Grand Parade is one of the major Sunday highlights. The Grand Parade will be preceded by the Kiddie Parade and followed by the chicken dinner.

The karaoke contest will be 2-6 p.m. in the park, with no cover and cash prizes. This is the second year of the karaoke contest, and Hawkins said last year it was wildly popular.

This year the karaoke contest will consist of two rounds, followed by a final competition.

The Holiday Angels will be bringing a kid's carnival to Heartland Days on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the park. This carnival has previously been held at The Running of the Llamas in 2011. Lori Devall is also a Holiday Angels Member, and helped organize the carnival. The carnival will allow kids a chance to play carnival games and win tickets to exchange for prizes. There will also be a "fishing pond" where kids can "fish" for a prize. Devall said the Holiday Angels are providing entertainment for kids, and earning money to help provide kids who may not get presents at Christmastime with gifts.

There are also several events that will be going on throughout Heartland Days, including the softball and golf tournaments, area garage sales, live music at the Hammond Hotel and Ras' On Main, as well as various dining deals at The Hammond Hotel, Ras' On Main and Parkside.

For a full schedule of events, visits www.heartlanddays.com.

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Gretta Stark
Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.
(715) 426-1048
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