‘Wind up in Traer’

Winding Stairs Festival slated for Aug.10-13

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TRAER — It’s something of a tradition in the small town of Traer, that each year, the community celebrates its historic downtown with carnival activities, music, food, contests and more.

“We pride ourselves on having a lot of things for kids and families to do that don’t cost money,” said committee member Ellen Young. “The festival is named after our [spiral] stairs we’re known for, that were built in 1894, and connect to second floors of historic buildings.”

The celebration kicks off Thursday, August 10 at 8:30 p.m. at the Traer Golf Course for glow in the dark golf. The event is open to all in-going seventh graders through graduating seniors.

To go with this year’s theme of “Fun in the Sun,” the festival will host several beach-themed activities, the first one being a free sand castle building contest from 6-7 p.m. that Friday evening. The sand and water will be provided, but participants are asked to bring their own building materials and tools.

“To go along with the beach theme, we are having a beach-themed cooking contest at noon on Saturday at the Traer Memorial Building. Cook up something that reminds you of the beach,” Young said.

Entry in the contest is free, and prizes will be awarded.

A kids’ inflatable station will be set up from 6-10 p.m. Friday evening, and from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, available to play in by purchasing a wristband.

Young said the free-will donation pancake breakfast, Saturday morning from 8-11 a.m. at the Traer Memorial Building, is always one of the most well-attended functions.

“We normally serve 600 people for this,” Young said. “The United Presbyterian Church sponsors it, and the donations go to Christian Hands Across Traer (CHAT), our local mission.”

Also on Saturday morning will be a FCCLA 5K competitive run/walk, starting at 8 a.m. at the North Tama Schools, as well as a co-ed slow pitch softball tournament at the North Tama Athletic Complex, beginning at 8 a.m. The cost per 10-person softball team is $125. The softball tournament will continue Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Call Martin Halstead at: 319-551-2975 to pre-register.

A “quick draw caricature artist’ will create free portraits, Friday from 6-10 p.m., and again Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

The Traer Fire Department will be serving food and hosting a free kids’ water ball activity from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The “Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses” Grand Parade will start at 5 p.m. Saturday, lining up at the North Tama Schools.

A Treasure Hunt Sand Dig for kids ages 1-6 will be held from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Free live entertainment will be offered Friday and Saturday nights.

“On Friday night, we will have Mollie B and Jim Busta Band with Karl, on the east stage, from 5:45-8:15 p.m.,” Young said. “It’s polka music. Then Farm Rock will perform from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the west stage. On Saturday, Sweet Siren will take the west stage from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., playing stuff young people will like (Top 40 and classic rock and edgy country).”

A variety of carnival foods and sandwiches will be sold. A Beach Therapy Beer Garden will run Friday from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

For a complete list of events, visit: www.traer.com or its Facebook page. For more information, call Young at: 319-231-7654.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com