2022 Winding Stairs Festival preview

Mustache competition, kiddie parade, cookout contest new this year

-Courtesy of the Winding Stairs Festival Committee

Traer’s downtown Winding Stairs Festival will be celebrating its 25th bash this year from August 11-14, and to commemorate the milestone several new events are in the works including a contest geared toward those with a mustache.

The annual town festival’s 2022 theme – ‘If You MUSTACHE, it’s Our 25th Year bash’ – has set the stage for all sorts of silly fun. The showcase mustache competition is being sponsored by A Wild Hair salon and includes seven categories – fu man chu, handlebar, pencil, disco, Charlie Chaplain, porn stache, and failure to launch – with the final category geared toward those who are ‘facial hair challenged.’ Judging for the contest will take place Thursday, August 11, at 8:00 p.m.

The Kiddie/Pet Parade and the Ranger/Golf Cart Parade are also new this year. The Kiddie/Pet Parade will kick off the weekend festivities on Thursday beginning at 6:00 p.m. Lineup is in front of the Traer Memorial Building. Prizes will be awarded for Best Decorated. All dogs taking part in the parade must be people-friendly and on a leash according to the event organizers.

The Ranger/Golf Cart Parade is set for 7:30 p.m. – also on Thursday – with lineup on the corner of Second and Mill streets.

Another new event for 2022 is the revival of the Cookout Contest sponsored by Tama County Farm Bureau. The contest will take place on Saturday, August 13, with setup beginning at 8:00 a.m. and judging at 2:00 p.m. All contestants will receive a gift; first and second-place category winners will receive sponsored prizes; overall champions will also be recognized. The contest is designed to promote quality, Iowa meat, according to the Tama County Farm Bureau. To join the contest, participants are asked to contact the Tama Co. Farm Bureau office at 641-484-3361.

Festival logo.

An expanded Carnival space is planned for this year and will include all the classic fair food and games as well as a super slide, bumper cars, the Gyroscope, a mini Ferris wheel, virtual reality roller coaster, and much more. A 24-punch card can be purchased in advance for $18 ($20 during the festival) at Traer Public Library, NuCara Pharmacy, Farmers Savings Bank, Chelsea Savings Bank, and Members 1st Credit Union during normal business hours. The last day to purchase discounted cards is Wednesday, August 10. Most rides take between two and three punches. The Carnival will be open Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 9:00 p.m.

The Grand Parade is set for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday; lineup is at 3:30 p.m. at North Tama Schools. No registration is required. Prizes will be awarded for Best of Show as well as first, second, and third places.

Additional highlights of the festival this year include a free junior high youth pool party at the Traer Pool on Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; polka by Barefoot Becky on Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with free kolaches at 5:00 p.m.; several stagings of Wolf Creek Players’ performance of “A Tribute to the Carol Burnett Show” including Friday at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; North Tama Athletics Competitive 5K Run/Walk at North Tama School on Saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m.; a free water ball fight for kids hosted by Traer Fire Dept. on the east end of Second Street beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday; a tour of the North Tama school buildings for reunion-honored classes beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday; and the family-friendly ‘Andy Anderson and Mike Leeds Dueling Pianos’ on Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the East Stage.

Saturday evening’s entertainment is the five-piece variety cover band Not Quite Brothers. The band is set to perform from 8:00 p.m. to midnight.

For more information including a full festival schedule, refer to the organization’s Facebook page – Winding Stairs Festival, Traer, Iowa.