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Come on out, support Glencoe Days

Glencoe Days unofficially opens Thursday night with the arrival of the Midway rides, and official events get under way Friday evening and Saturday. Most events, with the exception of Saturday’s parade, are at Oak Leaf Park.
Town celebrations are a dwindling tradition in Minnesota, and perhaps throughout the country. In the past few years, Plato’s White Squirrel Days became a thing of the past.
Stewartfest, which had a rich tradition in the Stewart Lions’ original Harvest Festival, was pared back a few years ago to a Friday-Saturday celebration from a Friday through Sunday celebration. This year, it’s not happening at all.
Brownton tried to fire up a Cabin Fever Days celebration several years ago. That, too, has been dwindling. In February, the celebration was reduced to simply a mystery dinner theater. That, too, had smaller than hoped for attendance, and the Cabin Fever Days committee is busily searching for new ideas. Likewise, the Brownton Area Resources for Kids (BARK) one-day celebration — which included such innovative ideas as human foosball and a cow-chip tossing contest — has been reduced to a street dance this year.
Pola-Czesky Days up in Silver Lake still seems to be going strong, and its committee is planning another three-day celebration for early August.
The Glencoe Days celebration, like its neighbors, has been reduced to a two-day celebration from three days. But don’t think it’s lacking in activities — a quick scan of the schedule shows a large slate of activities. They are just compressed into a shorter time frame.
Town celebrations are suffering from a lack of participation, both in terms of attendance and in terms of volunteers willing to put in uncountable hours of time into planning and pulling off a celebration.
More and more people are caught up in the busy-ness of their lives — it seems that every family with children is running around every weekend to traveling tournaments for baseball, softball, soccer and even basketball and volleyball, traditionally fall and winter sports.
And it tends to be the same faithful few who are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel to plan and work at town celebrations. The reason many celebrations were reduced from three days to two is because workers were dragging their ways tiredly through Sunday, with the thought of a full day of work Monday looming ahead of them.
It’s sad that these celebrations are changing so much. Families and school alumni used to build their reunions around them. It was time for families and friends to gather at the old stomping grounds, swap stories and enjoy the best that their communities have to offer.
So head to Oak Leaf Park Friday and Saturday and prove that these celebrations are worth preserving. Better yet, track down a committee member and offer your services, if not for this weekend, then for next year’s celebration.
After all, that’s what community is all about — pitching in and pulling together for a common cause.
— L.C.