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Star Prairie tunes up for 47th annual Ox Cart Days

Royalty from a previous Ox Cart Days in Star Prairie. (Staff photo)

According to Lions Club member and Village of Star Prairie Trustee Chris Boardman, this summer’s 47th annual version of Ox Cart Days will feature plenty of the traditional festivities, along with a few new attractions.

“We’re going to have an old-timers softball game Thursday night, just a little more entertainment. We’re also adding dog cart rides on Saturday. It’s a gentleman who trains sled dogs. He will have his dog here and give kids rides. And we’re also going to have a wild animal rescue petting zoo made up of whatever rescued animals they have at the time,” said Boardman.

Star Prairie’s contribution to the local summer festival schedule begins on Thursday evening, Aug. 18, with a 5K Walk/Run that will start from the parking lot by the ballfield at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the race as well as a silent auction will be donated to the the St. Croix County Sheriff’s K-9 unit.

A demonstration by sheriff’s deputies with their K-9 partners will share the ballfield with the old-timers softball game following the run, while the Lion’s Club feeds folks at their chicken and sweet corn feed. Following the feed, you can dance off some of that corn and chicken to the music of Duo Exhaust at the pavilion.

Friday’s activities kick off at 6 p.m. with the start of the weekend-long fast-pitch softball tournament followed by bingo at 7 p.m. and a street dance at 8 p.m. with music provided by Star Prairie’s own 301 Main.

Saturday morning early risers can loosen up their arms at the bean bag tournament starting at 11 a.m. Emery’s will be providing train rides for kids of all ages starting at noon. Kids games, face painting and an appearance by everyone’s favorite clown, Pickles, begins at 2 p.m. This year kids will be able to hitch a ride behind a trained sled dog and get up close and personal with some wild animals at the wild animal rescue petting zoo all between the hours of 1:30 p.m and 5 p.m. Saturday.

The best in crafts can be found at the sixth annual vendor craft sale next to the pavilion beginning at noon on Saturday.

To beat the heat, sign up for the canoe race at the Apple River Inn at noon Saturday. The cost is $10 per-person.

Enjoy the country music of Tim Butler in the pavilion Saturday from 2-6 p.m. followed by Sunday’s Regret taking the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday night.

The Lion’s Club pancake breakfast kicks off Sunday morning at the bingo building at 8 a.m. You can find forgiveness for Saturday night at Bethany Lutheran Community Church’s service, 9 a.m. at the ballfield. Join members of the Star Prairie Royal Court as they welcome royalty from many of the surrounding towns and villages at the Queen’s Tea starting at 11 a.m. at the River Island Park Pavillion.

The kiddie parade at 1:45 p.m. Sunday proceeds the weekend’s main event, the grand parade at 2 p.m. Weekend festivities conclude with a raffle drawing at 4 p.m. followed by the Lions Club’s famous rubber duck race on the Apple River at 4:30 p.m.

The Lions Club also wants to alert everyone attending that weekend to two opportunities to give back to the community. Receptacles will be located throughout the park for festival-goers to donate used eyeglasses, hearing aids and cellphones. Folks can also donate school supplies for families that cannot afford them at the “stuff-a-bus” location.

“I want to stress that the Lions Club is doing the eyeglass, hearing aid and cellphone collection. We will have receptacles on site. Those will be turned into Lions Club International where they will be recycled. We’re also going to do a ‘stuff-a- bus’ for kid’s school supplies. It will be there all weekend. Folks will actually load the supplies they want to donate onto a school bus. We will have a list of what is needed hanging on the bus. Those supplies will be donated to New Richmond Public Schools,” Boardman said.