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Good Neighbor Days kicks off summer festival cycle

St. Croix Central High School band members marched and performed for the large crowd on hand to enjoy Sunday's Good Neighbor Days parade. File photo

Good Neighbor Days in Roberts will kick off the summer festival schedule on Thursday, June 1, with its annual Community Appreciation Dinner and finish up with the annual demolition derby on Sunday, June 4.

"You will want to get in early because, man, those seats fill up. I can't believe the crowds we get for that. They are phenomenal," said Good Neighbor Days co-chair Geno Hanson. "A lot of the events for this festival have been sponsored by local companies, which the community recognizes and appreciates those companies stepping up to provide support for this event and help offset a lot of costs."

The Community Appreciation Dinner, which is sponsored by Citizens State Bank, will start at 5:30 p.m. June 1, with the Good Neighbor Award being given out some time after 6 p.m.

"One new thing is that the new butcher shop that is coming to Roberts on Main Street will be doing some sampling of some of their food at the dinner in order to introduce themselves to the community a little bit," Hanson said.

Friday night will feature the tractor pull at 7 p.m. along with the start of the slow pitch softball tournament and music by Maiden Dixie.

"The Central St. Croix Leos group will be doing a 50/50 raffle at the tractor pull," Hanson said. "We will also have a band like we always do."

The festivities on Saturday will kick off with the GND 5K & Fun Run — starting at 8:30 a.m. — which will feature a new sponsor and a new group running the event.

"Something new about the events on Saturday is that the 5K Fun Run, which has been sponsored by the YMCA in the past, will now be run by St. Croix Central Cross Country," Hanson said. "So all of that money will stay right in the school district. They are pretty excited by that. The SCC Cross Country team will run the event from now on. And we have a sponsor specifically for that event, with Fitness To Go in Roberts sponsoring it this year."

Hanson expects the car show, which goes from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., to be bigger than ever this year and might even encapsulate all of Main Street.

The truck pull, which is gaining in popularity according to Hanson, will start at 3 p.m.

Saturday night will feature three bands, including two bands showcasing local talent. The first band, Fourth Degree, will go on at 6 p.m. and will feature current SCC students and recent alumni. The second band, The Drop, will go on at 7 p.m. and is made up of Central graduates. This is the second year the group will perform at the Good Neighbor Days festival.

"We are happy to give those kids a night to shine and play in front of their friends and family," Hanson said. "We have found that bringing in these two local interest bands brings in a lot of people who usually stay for the whole night. So that has tied in really nice."

The final band of the night will be Rock Godz, who will go on at 9 p.m.

Saturday will also feature the Royal Ambassadors Pageant at 6 p.m. at the St. Croix Central Elementary School. The new royalty will be introduced to the assembled crowd at the festival just prior to the fireworks, which will start at dusk.

Sunday will start off with the Ecumenical Church Service in the park at 9 a.m.

"Right before the parade we have an ecumenical church service in the park, like we have had for the last few years. That will be run by Cross Lutheran Church of Roberts along with Roberts UCC church," Hanson said. "They will have a contemporary band that will be playing at the Good Neighbor Days for the first time."

The grand parade will start at 11 a.m. for the second year, instead of the usual 1 p.m. start from years past.

The grand finale of the festival will start at 2:30 p.m. in the form of the annual demolition derby.

For more information on the festival, contact Roberts Lions Club president Matt Skoglund at 715-410-1429, or visit robertslionsclub.com/gnd.

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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