All-school mixer kicks off holiday weekend

Organizers are finalizing plans for the two-in-one Hillsboro Family Festival and German/Low-German Folk Festival over Memorial Day weekend.

The Family Festival includes various activities for children through adults, while the German/ Low German Folk Festival celebrates the ethnic heritage of the community.

Saturday is the focal point for the weekend, but activities are planned from Friday evening through Memorial Day on Monday.

A $5 festival button will serve as admission to the festivals. The HHS alumni banquet on Saturday evening and the demolition derby on Sunday evening require separate fees.

Family Festival

Activities for the Family Festival will kick off at 6 p.m., Friday evening, May 26, with a mixer at Memorial Park. The event will include free barbecued beef sandwiches with chips, as well as music and socializing with friends and neighbors.

Four performers will provide music during the evening: Alex Stuchlik Polka Band, 6:30 to 7:30; Mike Flavin, 7:30 to 8:30; Shane Marler, 8:30 to 9:30; and Derek Mayfield, 9:30 to 10:30.

Local businesses have been invited to display and sell wares on site from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Also, attenders can register or pick up festival buttons and preregistration at the old swimming pool office located in the park.

Saturday activities begin as early as 7 a.m. with a free fly-in breakfast at Alfred Schroeder Field near Memorial Park. The breakfast, available from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., is open to everyone.

At noon, participants can watch a remote-control air show. The airport activities are sponsored by the Marion County Aviation EAA Chapter 1301.

At 8 a.m., two activities begin for the fitness-minded.

One of the activities is a festival run that starts and ends at Memorial Park. Participants can choose between a 5-kilometer run and a 1-mile walk/run. T-shirts and prizes will be awarded. Registration is 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.; the entry fee is $12.

Also at 8 a.m., golfers will tee off for the annual three-man scramble at the Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course.

Starting a 9 a.m., the annual classic car show opens. The show is hosted by the Route 56 Car Club, which also will be serving barbecued hamburgers and brats.

At 4 p.m., a community parade is planned through Hillsboro’s downtown business district. HHS classes have been encouraged to create a float for the event.

At 6:30 p.m, the All-School Reunion banquet is planned for Brown Gymnasium on the HHS campus. The deadline to register was May 12.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, the third annual demolition derby will kick off in the arena on the Marion County Fairgrounds, which is part of the park complex. An admission fee is required.

German Folk Festival

The Friends of the Hillsboro Museums will present a German/Low German Folk Festival in conjunction with the Hillsboro Family Festival on Saturday.

The day-long event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Historic Mennonite Brethren Church located on the Tabor College campus along D Street. The event will be $5 at the door or free with a Family Festival button.

“Because the Low German program was the most popular event at the museums’ Memorial Day celebration last year, we are enlarging the program this year,” said Stan R. Harder, museums director.

“We chose to hold the Low German program in Tabor’s historic church this year to accommodate the overflow crowds we had in our own one-room school house last year,” he added.

The program will include some well-known speakers who are proficient in Low German, which is a folk dialect of High German.

Don Huebert from Henderson, Neb., will speak in both the morning and afternoon sessions. He will reminisce in the morning and in the afternoon talk about Low German folk sayings and proverbs.

Willmar Harder, pastor of the Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church near Inman, will present a devotional titled, “De Gootet Schop Hoad,” in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Traditional German music will be presented by the Hillsboro German Choir in both sessions. The focus of tours at the Mennonite Settlement Museum will be the Friesen Windmill and the Peter Paul Loewen House. Guided tours will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Friesen Mill is a working replica of the flour mill built by a Low German family south of Hillsboro. The Peter Paul Loewen House is one of the few surviving structures made from dirt-and-straw bricks.

The Hillsboro Museums Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Festival buttons will be available at both the door of the historic church and at the visitor center.

Friends of the Hillsboro Museums will serve a lunch of grilled German sausage sandwiches and side dishes at the Scout House in Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about the Folk Festival call 947-3775.

Memorial Day events

The Hillsboro American Legion will be hosting its annual Memorial Day salute to veterans starting at 10 a.m. The brief program will be in the Memorial Park Circle.

At 11:30 a.m., the city’s new $2.5 million family aquatic center will open for business at its location between the Sports Complex and D Street.

An official grand opening, including fireworks, is planned for June 24.

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