Heart of the Prairie Days, Clarkfield’s annual community celebration, is arriving the end of this week beginning Thursday, May 30 and continuing until Saturday, June 1, to kick off the summer community festival scene in southwest Minnesota.
The Clarkfield celebration begins Thursday with city-wide garage sales and community businesses running Heart of the Prairie Days specials. A food stand at City Hall will be operated from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. And the day ends with the ever-popular kiddie parade at 6 p.m. with one of the areas best grand parades to follow at 7 p.m.
Also on Thursday, Clarkfield Civic and Commerce, the organizers for the weekend, will host a memorial at Lion’s Park at 6:45 p.m. for endeared Clarkfield resident Tim Bruflat who died recently and who’s memory the C&C hopes to preserve.
On Friday, occurring concurrently with graduation at Yellow Medicine East, the C&C will continue to host a food stand at City Hall and at 7 p.m. they will entertain with a talent show called Clarkfield’s Got Talent—meant to highlight a night of family fun.
“Friday is just going to be our family fun night. We know graduation is going on at the same time, so if you don’t go to that we hope you bring your family over to share a fun time with us,” says Jennifer Gilyard, manager at The Ink Spot and lead organizer for the weekend. “We’ll be giving away prizes, but it’s nothing formal. Everybody’s welcome to come out if they want to. We’ll have ice cream treats and everyone can just hang out.”
Where Friday is lightly scheduled because of graduation, Saturday makes up for it with a jam packed line-up. Food stands and garage sales continue, there’ll be volleyball and basketball tournaments, bouncy houses will be set up at North Park, then there’s a hog roast at the Emergency Medical Services Building starting at 5 p.m., beer gardens and shot girls and, of course, a Saturday night street dance with local band Hick Town Mafia.
“We have tons of things going on,” says Gilyard. “For the street dance, we’re keeping ticket prices at just $5 so it’s affordable for people to come out and have a good time. Then we have campsites available too, so people don’t have to worry about drinking and driving if they’d like to spend the night in Clarkfield.”
Gilyard, who’s just been involved in the community for a couple months now after taking over management of the Ink Spot talked about organizing the annual community celebration. “I think this has kind of been a difficult year with a lot of change coming into the Civic and Commerce organization. At one point not doing it this year was discussed, or doing just one night, but the response from the community was just so strong. So, a few people started showing ups and getting involved and then a few more and it just kind of fell together. Now we’re excited to see how well it will go.”
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