Traer’s Big Birthday Bash set for THIS Saturday

TRAER – There should be no room for boredom this aturday in Traer as the town officially celebrates its 150th birthday with a bash designed for the ages.

Traer’s Big Birthday Bash – as organizers have dubbed the daylong celebration – is set for Saturday, June 3 from just before noon to 10 p.m. in Taylor Park. The lengthy list of activities planned for the public party is enough to make one’s head spin – and too much for one article alone – but here’s a sampling…

The celebrations are scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. with a family-friendly 1.5-mile, untimed Neon Fun Run sponsored by the North Tama Spanish Club.

Participants may walk, jog, skip, or even roll their way through the course where at every half mile they will be doused with colored powder. Those who register by May 25 will receive a t-shirt, but participants are asked to wear all white and protective eyewear such as sunglasses.

Proceeds from the run are earmarked for the Spanish Club’s upcoming field trip abroad. The run begins on the southwest corner of Taylor Park. For more information including how to register: https://neonfunrun2023.rsvpify.com

Following the Fun Run, members of the American Legion Kubik-Finch Post No. 142 will officially kick off the day at noon with an opening ceremony at the park gazebo after which a commemorative candle blowout will take place with free birthday cake handed out to those in attendance.

From noon to 1 p.m., the Traer Pool will feature pool dives for cash and prizes sponsored by Farmers Savings Bank.

The Traer Fire Department is sponsoring kids waterball fights from noon to 2 p.m. on the east end of Park Row Street.

From noon to 8 p.m., Ripley United Church of Christ located west of the park at 400 S. Main Street will be hosting a homemade pie and ice cream social while displaying many of the beautiful quilts made by the congregation’s talented quilters.

At 12:30 p.m., the North Tama Pep Band and Alumni Players will perform at the gazebo under the direction of North Tama band director Channing Halstead. Any alumni interested in participating should contact Halstead at chalstead@n-tama.k12.ia.us for copies of music ahead of the performance. Practice is set for 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the North Tama Band Room – enter from the south side Activity Entrance Door No. 12.

No celebration in Tama County would be complete without polka which is why the Jim Kucera Band from Elkhorn, Nebraska will be performing at the gazebo from 1-3 p.m.

“Look to the sky,” Sesquicentennial Committee organizers urge at exactly 1:50 p.m. for a “Big Birthday Bash surprise.”

Horseshoe pitching demos by the Iowa Hawkeye Horseshoe Pitching Association will take place from 2-4 p.m. at the horseshoe pits near the gazebo.

There will be FREE things for children to do all day long with the Blue Birthday Bash Tent featuring many of the activities including free squirt guns (while supplies last), a self-guided scavenger hunt, a bubble-making class from 1-2:30 p.m., face painting from 1-3 p.m., a toddler bouncy house, a balloon tying artist from 2-4:30 p.m., and more.

The sidewalks in and around Taylor Park will feature several Birthday Bash chalk art displays with the option to get creative yourself and chalk the walk. D.I.Y. Jenga, hula hoops, and potato sack races will also be scattered throughout the park.

A free kolache eating contest sponsored by Chelsea Savings Bank will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the gazebo – sign up ahead of time at the Blue Tent.

At 6:15 p.m. a free tug of war competition will take place between the ‘east side of Hwy 63’ and the ‘west side of Hwy 63’ near the park’s Shelter House.

Beginning at 7 p.m., Sons of The American Legion historian Kennan Seda will present a seven-minute overview of the seven Veterans whose names adorn the Taylor Park entrance monument. The presentation will take place at the west park entrance.

There will be food and beverages available for sale all day throughout the park from vendors, food trucks, and in the Beer Garden which will feature 150th commemorative beers.

The big bash celebrations will culminate with the free ‘Movie Under the Moon’ at 9:15 p.m. featuring a family-friendly flick on a giant outdoor screen complete with popcorn and glow sticks.

Admission to the Birthday Bash is free. All activities will take place weather permitting. For more information visit https://www.traer.com/sesquicentennial, and be sure to wind up in Traer next Saturday!