Hillsboro Days 2018: Ready to spill the beans

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Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 6:00 am

Randy Habeck hopes this year’s Hillsboro Days celebration creates a carnival-like atmosphere in downtown Hillsboro.

The local pharmacist has helped shake up the citywide bash with Saturday’s debut of a bean bag tournament sponsored by the Hillsboro Business Association.

The event replaces HBA’s annual kickball tournament, which attracted a dozen teams every June during its eight-year run at Olsen Softball Complex.

“When we decided not to do kickball, we wanted something to take its place that would keep people in town,” said Habeck, who’s organizing the bean bag tournament.

“And with our new focus this year of having more things downtown, this goes pretty well with that. Hopefully, it will mean a lot more people downtown.”

The five-day Hillsboro Days celebration returned Wednesday night with a kickoff party at Valley Plains Equipment followed by the Hillsboro Running Club’s 5K/10K walk and run Thursday night.

More than a half-dozen activities are on today’s docket, including a kiddie tractor pedal pull at 5 p.m., a youth track meet at the Hillsboro sports complex at 7 p.m. and a parking lot party from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Vets Club at 121 W. Caledonia Ave.

Thunder Ridge, a popular regional band which played at last year’s Hillsboro Days celebration, returns for another performance at A&R Bar at 111 N. Main St. starting at 9 o’clock tonight.

Hillsboro Days activities ramp up again Saturday morning, and no event may be more eagerly anticipated than the bean bag tourney.

“I think there are a lot of people excited about it,” Habeck said. “It’s hard to let kickball go because it was a good event and a successful one. But I hope this event can find the same success that kickball had in town.”

Saturday lineup

Saturday’s festivities kick off with a Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast from 6:30 to 9 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

The Hillsboro Fire Department’s annual parade follows at 9 a.m.

Dave Sather, who coordinates the parade, said this year’s event should have a solid number of entries if the weather cooperates.

A car and vintage tractor show in town could pull in additional parade traffic, he said.

“You never know how the parade is going to go until it starts,” Sather said Monday.

“Last year, we had the biggest turnout since 2006 and we’re going to have more cars and tractors in town, so that should bolster our numbers.”

Although talks had been held about whether to adjust this year’s route, the parade will follow its traditional path in the city, Sather said.

After the parade, a 3-point contest will begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Hillsboro.

The bean bag tourney makes its debut at 11 a.m., joined by a number of first-time events: Games Galore on the courthouse lawn; Extreme Jumping and chalk coloring for kids on downtown sidewalks; the car and tractor show on Main Street; and a craft and vendor show along First Street South.

Melissa Beach, one of this year’s main organizers for Hillsboro Days, said HBA members wanted more kid-friendly activities this year.

The downtown Hillsboro parade pulls in families from nearby counties who sometimes leave before staying for the remainder of Saturday’s Hillsboro Days activities, she said.

“I think there was a gap (in the day) when people would disappear and not come back,” she said. “People will come for kids stuff. That’s apparent in Fargo and other towns.

“We wanted to offer events that were family friendly across all kinds of ages.”

A hill of beans

HBA’s bean bag tourney will be held in the parking lot of Dakota Heritage Bank at 101 W. Caledonia Ave.

Organizers hope to have entrants registered by 10 p.m. tonight, although walk-ups will be accepted Saturday morning if spots are available.

However, Habeck cautioned late arrivals won’t be guaranteed a chance to compete.

Participants will sign up as individuals and won’t be paired with a teammate beforehand to avoid ringers in the tournament, Habeck said.

“Even if we do get ringers, it’s possible they’ll be paired with the worst player in the whole crowd,” he said. “We’re hoping for a fun event where people are in it more for the fun than the competition side of it.”

The tournament will include a round-robin format with teams squaring off in two preliminary matches.

All the winners with 2-0 records in the first round will be clumped into one bracket with similar brackets divided into teams that go 1-1 and 0-2 in their opening matches.

The cost to enter is $20 and half the money will be returned to winners.

Entrants planning to play in Saturday’s tournament can register today at Hillsboro Drug, Olsen Hardware and the Vets Club.

Organizers are prepared to handle a passing rain shower but an all-day rain will cancel the event, Habeck said. 

More in store

The A&R Bar’s eighth annual fishing derby for kids starts at 1 p.m. Saturday in Woodland Park along Third Street Northeast.

The event is for kids ages 12 and under. Registration begins at noon at the Woodland Park gazebo.

Tours of the Plummer House Museum at 308 W. Caledonia Ave. will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The draft horse and pony pull in Woodland Park starts at 2 p.m. led by announcer Paul Geray of Hillsboro.

Around 5 p.m. the 30th annual North Dakota State Antique Tractor Pull in Hillsboro will begin at Heritage Park north of Valley Plains Equipment along Second Avenue Southwest.

A hamburger party at the Vets Club and sponsored by American Legion Post 4 runs from 5 to 7 p.m.

Saturday’s events wind down with a 9 p.m. performance by Tripwire in front of the Traill County Courthouse along First Street Northwest.

The street dance will allow 18- to 20-year-olds to attend this year and should take place even with a passing shower due to a covered band stage rented for the event.

Updates on the dance will be posted to the Hillsboro Days Facebook page in the event of a prolonged rain or thunderstorm.

Hillsboro Days events wrap up Sunday with an all-faiths worship in Woodland Park at 11 a.m. A coffee and fellowship time will be offered 30 minutes prior to the worship service.

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