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A time to visit with good friends

This year's Heritage Days theme is "Coming Home Again in 2010."

Reminiscing about the good old days in St. Paul Park is a major draw for people who attend the city's annual celebration, scheduled this year from Friday through Monday, Aug. 20, to 23.

Not only do families spend the weekend gathering, but classmates from the former St. Paul Park High School plan reunions on the weekend.

This year the Class of 1960 will meet for its 50th reunion, and, for the first time, will have an entry in the parade on Saturday morning.

"We always try to have our big reunions on Heritage Days weekends," said planner Tom Axelrod. "Lots of people are in town those days. We even have people coming from California and, some years, we have people come back home from the East Coast.

"We like getting together," he said. "After 50 years, it's kind of tough to keep in touch."

The 2010 version of Heritage Days will begin on Friday, Aug. 20, with the opening of the carnival, a barbecue dinner at American Legion Post 98 at 5 p.m., followed by Glow-N-Bowl at 6:30 p.m. at Park Grove Bowl on Hastings Avenue and finally a free movie at Veterans' Park, between Fourth

and Fifth streets, just north of Broadway Avenue.

Saturday will begin with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at the Masonic Center, Broadway and Summit avenues from 8 to 11 a.m. The parade begins at 11 a.m. from Heritage Park. It will travel north on Summit and turn west on Broadway.

The remainder of the day will be filled with activities along Broadway including food concessions, an arts and crafts tent, Boy Scout dunk tank, classic car show and horseshoe and mud volleyball tournaments.

There will be outhouse races at 1 p.m., a kid's tractor pull at 2:30 p.m., music by the local family band, "Mixed Bag," and the street dance from 7 to 11 p.m.

On Sunday the pancake breakfast at the American Legion from 8 to 11 a.m. will start off activities. The garden tractor pull begins at 12:30 p.m. with games for kids in the big tent also at 12:30 p.m. The egg toss is scheduled at 2:30, with the mustache contest at 3 p.m.

The Miss and Junior Miss Heritage Days Pageant will take place at 7 p.m. at Hope Community Church, 8300 Hyde Ave., in Cottage Grove.

Admission is a $5 Heritage Days button, available at the door.