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2013 Heritage Days: 'Hot times' for St. Paul Park festival

Jenavieve Vandenbosch, of St. Paul Park, waves to the city's fire trucks toward the end of the Heritage Days parade Saturday near the intersection of Broadway and Summit avenues. (Bulletin photo by Scott Wente)1 / 2
St. Paul Park’s Broadway Avenue will be bustling with activity during the city’s 29th annual Heritage Days celebration this weekend. (Bulletin file photo)2 / 2

Get ready to step back in time during the 29th annual Heritage Days Festival in St. Paul Park, which begins Friday. The city’s fire department is celebrating 75 years of service and rich history with the theme “Hot Times on Broadway.”

Every third weekend in August, thousands of area residents take to the streets of St. Paul Park to participate in a variety of exciting events for young and old alike.

“It’s very nostalgic,” event organizer Jim Domeier said of the street festival. “We’re a very unique festival because we shut down the main street to give people a chance to see what St. Paul Park is all about. It’s not in the park, it’s on the street, which I think gives it a unique feel.”

Domeier, who has organized the event for the last 12 years, said this is a special year for the firefighters. New to the events is a fire truck parade Sunday that will include rigs from departments around the area including Wisconsin. Trucks from a bygone era to new, top of the line apparatus will make their way from Heritage Park through the city Sunday morning beginning at 11 a.m.

“This is the first time (the fire department) has had their very own parade,” Domeier said. “It should be quite the sight.”

On Friday evening, the carnival opens on Broadway Avenue and Glow and Bowl twilight bowling takes place at Park Grove Bowling Alley.

Two-person teams signed up for the annual bean bag tournament will begin play Saturday as well as teams signed up for the highly anticipated mud volleyball tournament. While area festivals’ royalty representatives will no longer prepare the volleyball courts in a mud stomp like past years, Domeier said there are plenty of teams ready to get down and dirty once the tournament opens.

If you’re looking for something cleaner, a pancake breakfast will be held at the Masonic Center on the corner of Broadway and Summit avenues. Other events on Saturday include the all-day flea and arts and craft markets, food concessions, a classic car show, dunk tank, Elvis tribute artist and carnival.

After the parade led by the fire department Saturday, awards will be handed out at 12:30 p.m. on the bandstand on Broadway. This year, the event is honoring East Side Auto with the Business of the Year Award. Domeier said the official first Heritage Days Festival button printed will be presented to the fire department, with Fire Chief Kurk Lee accepting the button.

“We sell buttons for the raffle and usually raffle off the first button to the highest bidder,” Domeier explained. “But this year we are awarding it to the fire department to honor their 75 years in the community.”

The day’s events conclude with the street dance which begins at 6:30 p.m. and is extended to 11 p.m. Touted as Minnesota’s premier girls night out party band, Bad Girlfriends will take the stage to play classic rock, country and dance hits.

Plan to stick around for Sunday’s events, which kick off at 8 a.m. with another pancake breakfast and the opening of the street carnival at 10 a.m. But, the spectacle to see is the fire department parade, which starts at Heritage Park and follows the same route as the main parade on Saturday.

“There’s also going to be an egg and water balloon toss and lots of entertainment for folks,” Domeier said.

Other events include a kiddie parade at noon  at Second Street and Broadway, a garden tractor pull and coloring contest.

The mud volleyball continues through Sunday.

“The main thing we want is for people to have fun,” Domeier said. “There is always a lot to do during Heritage Days.”

-Emily Buss

Button, shirt, carnival info


The 2013 Heritage Days button, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the St. Paul Park Fire Department, is selling for $5 each and offers buyers a chance at six prizes sponsored by area businesses and residents.

Prizes include:

- 1st place—a Kindle Fire, donated by Anchor Bank-St. Paul Park;

- 2nd place—iPod Nano, donated by Park Café owner Keith Franke;

- 3rd place—$100 gasoline gift card from Gary Nelson at Duffy’s Service Center;

- 4th place—$100 gift card to American Motorsports Bar and Grill in Cottage Grove, donated by Ken and Karen Lindquist;

- 5th place—A black and white diamond necklace donated by Ruth Dinger; and

- 6th place—A $50 gift card to American Motorsports Bar and Grill, donated by co-owner Tom Shannon.

The buttons can be purchased at Park Café, Broadway Bar & Grill, Park Place Sports Bar, American Legion Post 98, Anchor Bank, Franke’s Corner Bar, Finja’s Liquors, Carbone’s Pizzeria and City Hall, all in St. Paul Park. Members of the Heritage Days Royal Family are also selling buttons.

 Fire department T-shirts

The St. Paul Park Fire Department is selling T-shirts to commemorate its 75th anniversary. The shirts—ranging in price from $12 to $20—are available at Anchor Bank, Carbone’s Pizzeria, the American Legion and Park Cafe, all in St. Paul Park. Shirts will also be available during Heritage Days at the information desk under the big tent at Broadway Avenue and Fourth Street.

 Discount carnival tickets

St. Paul Park businesses are selling discounted carnival tickets through Thursday, Aug. 15. Tickets can be purchased at Park Cafe, Broadway Bar & Grill, the American Legion, Park Place Sports Bar and City Hall. A sheet of five tickets sells for $10, or $2 per ticket. During Heritage Days, tickets will cost $3 each. Rides require one ticket each.