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Frontier Days kicks off Friday

Three-day event will feature blend of new attractions, old favorites

June 2, 2011
By PETER KASPARI - Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Fort Dodge's annual Frontier Days celebration will kick off Friday.

This year's theme, "Gateway to Our Past," reflects the combination of old and new, according to organizers of the event.

"Randy Erwin, who is a trick roper and yodeler, will be there," said Terry Cook, a member of the Frontier Days Committee. "We have a teen dance on Saturday in the Opera House, and we're going to do old-fashioned games on Friday and Saturday. We're trying to mix it up a bit."

In addition to trying to mix the past and the future, Cook said there are events being held for the first time, including a visit from a Lone Ranger tribute performer, the Hawkeye tractor pedal pull, and Ritchie Lee, a singer whose specialty is performing songs from the 1950s.

One event that is returning to Frontier Days this year is karaoke, which has been absent from Frontier Days for the past few years.

Many annual events will return - including the Frontier Days parade, which will be held along Central Avenue in Fort Dodge.

Fact Box

Frontier Days schedule


5 p.m. - Cowboy Randy at First Frontier Stage

6-8 p.m. - Lone Ranger and Silver Show at the Stockade

7-11 p.m. - Audio Drive Under The Big Top

7-11 p.m. - Area's Best Karaoke in the Opera House


10 a.m. - Parade (downtown Fort Dodge)

10 a.m. - Gates open at Fort Museum, inflatables all day

10 a.m. to noon- DJ music under the Big Top

1 p.m. - United All Stars in the Opera House

1-3 p.m. - Lone Ranger and Silver Show at the Stockade

1-4 p.m. - Richie Lee under The Big Top

2 p.m. - Dr. Cole's Magic Show in Opera House

2-5 p.m. - Kids Pedal Tractor Pull in the Opera House parking lot

3 p.m. Hollingsworth School of Dance in the Opera House

3 p.m. - Cowboy Randy at First Frontier Stage

4 p.m. - Dr. Cole's Magic Show in Opera House

5- 6 p.m. - DJ music Under The Big Top

5:15-7:15 p.m. - Bobby Awe and the Awe Stars in the Opera House

5 p.m. Cowboy Randy at First Frontier Stage

7-11 p.m. - Standing Hampton under The Big Top

8-10 p.m. - Teen Dance in the Opera House


10 a.m. - Gates open

1 p.m. - Kids and family games on the Main Street

1:30-2:30 p.m. Jill's Jazz Pizazz in the Opera House

2-4 p.m. - Lone Ranger and Silver Show at the Stockade

3-4 p.m. - Zumba dance in the Opera House

5 p.m. - Gates close

Mike and Cindy Mulroney have coordinated the parade for the past two decades.

Mike Mulroney said in their 20 years as coordinators, organization has gotten much better.

"We've gone from the two of us and our volunteers to a full organization," he said. "For instance, we've got groups in charge of judging, we've got intersection coordinators, and we've got the military and our church volunteers."

Cindy Mulroney expressed gratitude at how helpful their church, the New Covenant Christian Church, has been during their tenure as parade coordinators.

"We really count on them and we don't have to worry about money with them" she said. "It's good fiscal management."

Cook expects this year's event to be geared toward families.

"With the high prices of gas, we're hoping a lot of people will be closer to home and a lot more families will come to Frontier Days," Cook said. "We're making it family-oriented this year."

Cook said there are a higher -than-usual number of vendors.

"Between the crafts and the vendors, we've got between 30 to 45 vendors this year," Cook said. "We've even got vendors in buildings on Front Street, which we've never had before."

Cook said he appreciates all of the assistance provided by the volunteers and businesses to make Frontier Days a success.

"It's a really big undertaking; we have seven to eight planners, and it costs $50,000 to $60,000 to put on, which people don't realize," Cook said. "I just wanted to thank all the volunteers and business for all their hard work."

Frontier Days begins at the Fort Museum this Friday at 4 p.m. and lasts until Sunday at 5 p.m.

Contact Peter Kasperi at (515) 573-2141 or



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