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Who’s ready for Fun Fest?

Express Lube and Rental employees Sebastian Larson (left) and Brandon Kliszcz string lights inside a massive tent on Tuesday morning. This weekend, the tent will be house the Royalty of Rock Tour for New Richmond Fun Fest. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

Starting on Thursday, July 10, and going through Sunday, July 13, New Richmond Fun Fest will bring food, fun and music to the New Richmond community.

“We have a great music lineup this year and we are adding a few new things in order to keep things fresh and exciting for everyone,” said Fun Fest Event Coordinator Russ Korpela. “The kiddie parade is back this year and we are adding the Bean Bag Tournament as well as bringing in the Royalty of Rock Tour to perform on Saturday night.”

The festival, which is put on by the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce, kicks off on Thursday at Cyclone Park with a night of country music, starting with a performance by Rural Route 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by Tim Sigler from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

“One of the minor things we have started to add to the festival is more music and food for people to come out earlier in the week,” Korpela said. “People have really enjoyed the country music night on Thursday and we were able to bring back Tim Sigler, who people have loved in the past. We have went from not having anything on Thursday to having a night full of music and food and people really seem to come out for that.”

Thursday also marks the start of the carnival, which opens at 6 p.m. After Thursday the carnival opens at noon the rest of the weekend.

On Friday night, Free Fallen is scheduled to play from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., leading into a show by popular local band, the Dweebs, from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Saturday is full of activities, including the Fun Fest Grand Parade, the First National Community Bank Kiddie Parade, the Antique & Farm Stock Tractor Pull, a pie and ice cream social at the United Methodist Church, the New Richmond Youth Hockey Association Classic Car Show, the Pedal Tractor Pull and the New Richmond Fire Department Water Battle.

“We try to be very respectful of the other events that are going on that aren’t at the fairgrounds and the events that are being put on by other groups during Fun Fest,” Korpela said. “We don’t want to have too large of an event schedule during those times when other groups are putting on events so that we don’t detract from those events. Those events are important and we want people to be able to enjoy them as well as the things we have going on at the fairgrounds.”

Royalty of Rock Tour

One of the things Korpela was most pleased with about this year’s Fun Fest was being able to bring in the Royalty of Rock Tour to take center stage on Saturday night starting at 6:30 p.m.

“Early on in the development of Fun Fest we knew that it would be really fun to bring in tribute bands because people really enjoy those kinds of acts,” Korpela said. “For the most part, the tribute bands are a lot better than the actual bands are currently. The Royalty of Rock Tour is a nice mix of bands and they offer a little bit of everything for everyone.”

Royalty of Rock is one large group made up of around 10 musicians who all take turns on stage depending on which band is called for or wanted for a given performance. On Saturday night, concert goers will get the chance to hear Free For All, The Intense Tribute to Ted Nugent; Zed Leppelin, The Nation’s premier Led Zeppelin Experience; and Essential Queen, a Queen tribute.

“We really thought it would be great to bring in this group because they offer a lot of different music for different people and we also get to finish off the night with some Queen songs which is always good,” Korpela said. “I have heard the band before when they were performing as Zed Leppelin and they were great. They are all excellent musicians and they are one of the best tribute bands out there. Everyone who makes it out is in for a treat.”

Bringing in the Royalty of Rock Tour continues with the Chamber’s philosophy to change up the musical lineup as well as bring the New Richmond community something new every year.

“We really wanted to keep things from getting stale or boring, and bringing in different musical groups after a few years is one of the ways we can do that,” Korpela said. “With the exception of the Dweebs, who are from the area and are a tradition at the festival, we try not to bring back the same acts for more than two or three years in a row. The Chamber was thrilled when we were able to bring things together and bring in the Royalty of Rock Tour.

Other activities

One of the new activities added to this year’s Fun Fest schedule is the inaugural Bean Bag Tournament on Saturday at 10 a.m.

“Bean bag is a great game that anyone can play,” Korpela said. “It is a great addition to the festival and and I think it could really become a standard and a tradition of the festival in the future.”

Along with the Bean Bag Tournament, the concerts and the food,  a wide variety of sporting events are scheduled to take place during Fun Fest, including the Fun Fest Softball Tournament, the annual New Richmond Tennis Open, the New Richmond Millers annual Fun Fest baseball game against the Osceola Braves and the Willow River Run.

Fun Fest fun

Inaugural Bean Bag Tournament, at Cyclone Park under the big tent on the Fun Fest Festival Grounds. The bean bag tournament starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. The cost of entering the tournament is $30 per team. Check-in starts at 9:30 a.m. Teams register as groups of two with up to two additional alternates. Alternates will play in the absence of the regular team member. Prizes for the tournament include a 125 percent payout with door prizes, with first- through fifth-place finishers receiving payouts. Registrations can be mailed or dropped off with the registration fee to NR Chamber, 245A S. Knowles Ave., New Richmond, WI 54017.

First National Community Bank Kiddie Parade, on Campus Drive in New Richmond. The Fun Fest Kiddie Parade, which is open to children up to 12 years old, returns on Saturday, July 12, at 10 a.m. This year’s theme is dress as your favorite superhero. The parade lineup begins at 9:45 a.m. on Campus Drive just inside the Fun Fest barricades at the south entrance of St. Croix Press and will finish at the north end of Campus Drive just outside the carnival area. All children must be accompanied by an adult. The viewing area to watch the parade will be on the east and west sides of Campus Drive. For more information, call Lisa Woletz at 715-243-6163 or email her at

Willow River Run, starting at Mary Park in New Richmond. The 5K and 10K races begin at 7:30 a.m., while the Kids Run starts at 8:30 a.m. Entry fees for the races are $25 in advance, $30 on race day, for the 5/10K and $15, without a T-shirt, and $20, with a T-shirt, for the Kids Run. Pre-registration guarantees a T-shirt. For more information, call 715-246-5444, email at, or visit

Pie & Ice Cream Social, at the United Methodist Church from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Classic Car Show, from noon to 4 p.m. and put on by the New Richmond Youth Hockey Association on Saturday.

Fire Department Water Battle, starting at 1:30 p.m at the New Richmond Fire Department Fire Hall on Saturday.

Fun Fest Grand Parade, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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