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Continued: It's festival time: Cities and towns across the metro area are gearing up for community-wide gatherings

  • Article by: ANNA PRATT  , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 20, 2014 - 5:56 PM

Whiz Bang Days July 10-13

Whiz Bang Days, which has its roots in wartime, takes its name from a now out-of-print magazine that started up in Robbinsdale in 1919.

The magazine, “Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang,” was a playful read that aimed to cheer up servicemen, according to Candice Norton, a festival organizer and longtime Robbinsdale resident.

The magazine’s publisher, Wilford Hamil­ton “Captain Billy” Fawcett, had previously been an Army captain. Whiz Bang refers to the “land-to-land” bombs that were used in World War I — that is, the bombs whizzed by and landed with a bang, she explained.

The magazine did so well that the city incorporated the title into the community festival’s name when it began 66 years ago.

Today, a traditional ice cream social kicks off the festivities. Other highlights include an art exhibit, flower show, log rolling, bocce ball tournament, bingo, inflatable rides, parade, wine tasting, talent show and food trucks. The classic car show is also coming back for its second year, as it got a good turnout last year, she said.

The festival also will mark the opening of the city’s new Lee Park baseball field on Thursday, July 10. A number of former Twins players will be on hand for that, and a Little League game will break in the new field that day, she said.

The youth “ambassador” program is hosting a coronation ceremony at Hollingsworth Park on the northern end of Crystal Lake. People can get settled in with blankets and lawn chairs and stay for the fireworks over the lake, Norton said.

Over the festival weekend, the 60-member City Band that formed in 1906 will give a concert in the park.

Lively music at the block party near the city’s water tower, which stands out for the robin illustration on its exterior, is “intended to make you want to get up and dance,” she said. That’s what she gravitates to at the festival. “There’s nothing better than having a lot of neighbors all in one area,” enjoying the food, music and camaraderie, she said.

 

What: Robbinsdale Whiz Bang Days

Where: downtown Robbinsdale area; W. Broadway between 37th and 42nd avenues N. and beyond (see online schedule for full listing)

When: July 10-13 (check website for times) Information: www.whizbangdays.com or e-mail info@whizbangdas.com or call 763-531-1212.

 

Stillwater

Rivertown art festival May 31-June 1

The Rivertown Art Festival, one of many outdoor celebrations happening in Stillwater in the coming months, is a “strong presence in the artist community,” says Todd Streeter, who heads the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce.

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    No matter what they call them, cities and towns across the area are gearing up fro community-wide gatherings.

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