Festival week kicks off Sunday

Princeton's band playing in the 2011 parade

This year’s Rum River Festival begins this Sunday, June 3, with a coronation pageant and will end the following Sunday with the popular fly-in, drive-in brunch and classic car show. The festival’s theme this year is Treasure Princeton.

In between the pageant and brunch events the festival will have a banquet to honor a number of citizens for outstanding civic work, a parade, city-wide garage sale, a 5K (3.1 miles) run, street fair with carnival and pedal tractor pull contest, Christian music concert, another classic car show, sock hop with music from the ‘50s and ‘60s, and food concessions.

Festival buttons with an image of the downtown Princeton of yesteryear are being sold at a number of local businesses for $1 to help defray the festival costs. Chamber of Commerce coordinator Mary Chapman also notes that more volunteers are needed to help run the festival and they may call her office at 389-1764 if interested.


The pageant

The festival pageant this year will have the theme, Fun in the Sun,”  during which three Princeton ambassadors will be crowned from among the six candidates. That’s a change for the first time from decades of the festival having a Miss Princeton coronation in which a queen and two princesses are chosen.

The pageant will be Sunday, June 3, at New Life Church located along Highway 95 just west of the city, and will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $6, or $5 if you are wearing a festival button. The candidates will perform a team dance, talk about their sponsors and do more during the pageant as the judges and audience watch.

The candidates are Cathryne Anderson, Morgan Ege, Jasmine Carr, Rebecca Lorge, Sylvia Michaels and Nicole Sorenson.

The pageant program will also include musical performances, and will be attended by various royalty including the Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes Amanda Bertrand, and Aquatennial Captain Jennifer Brentana. The Aquatennial royalty will present the annual commodore award to a person chosen for their civic contributions, and this year’s recipient is Carol Breitkreutz. Also scheduled to attend will be the recently crowned four Little Miss Princetons – Taylor Flynn, Maddy Anderson, Hallie Essig, and Camille Essig.


Look for the medallion 

The festival medallion hunt will begin on Monday, June 4, with clues provided daily until the medallion, worth a $100 cash prize, is found. The clues will be on WQPM Radio AM 1300 and on the chamber’s website at www.Princetonmnchamber.org.


DSA banquet

The festival’s Distinguished Service Awards banquet will be Thursday June 6 in the Princeton VFW Club meeting room, with social hour starting at 6 p.m. and the banquet at 7 p.m. The cost to attend is $16 per plate and reservations are needed by calling Lottie Lindberg at 612 859-1368.


The parade

The festival parade will be Thursday, June 7, starting at 6 p.m. The route begins at the Holiday station and runs north along Rum River Drive to First Street, where it goes west on First Street until Eighth Avenue just west of the Caley House, before heading south on Eighth Avenue to end up in the area of the high school and South Elementary.

Eighty nine units were signed up for the parade as of May 23, of which six are marching bands. They include the Princeton Marching Band, and bands from Benson, Hutchinson, Milaca and Champlin Park High Schools, and the Milaca Junior High marching band.

Instead of one parade grand marshall as in years past, the title will be shared by three this year. They are Scott Berry, owner/operator of the Scott Berry law firm that the chamber chose as its business of the year in 2011, Breitkreutz who is the chamber’s person of the year, and someone representing the Princeton Area Visionary Committee named the civic group of the year.


City-wide garage sale

Princeton will have its festival-week city-wide garage sale on Thursday and Friday, June 7 and 8, with the registration deadline today (May 31) at 4:30 p.m. to have your garage sale included. Registration fee is $12 which gives the registrant a yard sign and a map/list of all the registered garage sales. The chamber office is at 705 2nd Street No. next to the police station.


Saturday events

The festival’s 5K run/walk event will be on Saturday, June 9, starting at 8:30 a.m. near the library on Fourth Avenue South where the start and finish line will be. Registration will begin at 7 that morning and entry fee is $20. With that the entrant can have a banana, granola bar, bottle of water and a chance to win a medal given out for the first three places in four age categories of men and women in the running competition.


Street Fair

The festival will have a street fair on Saturday, June 9, in the parking lot of the north mall and on one block of Rum River Drive between First Street and Second Street North that will be blocked off for the day starting at 9 a.m. The fair will run until 4 p.m. and is to include:

• a sanctioned pedal tractor pull for ages 4-11 starting at 2 p.m.,

• craft and food vendors

• magician acts and carnival with inflatables, of which a few are designed for young adults

Then at 4 p.m. the carnival setup will be cleared out to make way for an approximately five-hour Christian music concert in the same location. It is being organized by a local youth pastor team called Spiritquest, and the emcee will be speaker, Tom Elie. The musicians scheduled include Ryan Daniel and the Spirit of David, Melodious Mike and the Melodees, Farsighted, and The Nu Christian Souljas.

Car/bike show and sock hop

Also planned that Saturday will be the Princeton VFW-hosted car & bike show 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. with sock hop and ‘50s and ‘60s costume contest from noon until 4 p.m. It will take place on a closed-off block of Second Street North in front of the VFW club meeting room and NAPA Auto Parts store. A trophy will be given for the best men’s costume and best women’s costume. Trophies will be given for the top five best cars and two best bikes, plus there will be prize drawings.

Bob Weber, known as Mr. Nashville, will be the DJ for the sock hop. The VFW will be selling burgers and chips, and root beer floats and cherry cokes at what organizer Frank King is calling ‘50s and ‘60s prices. Call King at 763 244-0391 for more information.


Sunday airport brunch

The Princeton Lions Club will have its annual festival brunch at the Princeton Airport on Sunday, June 10, from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. People can get there by car or by plane. Also planned at the airport brunch are a remote control model plane exhibit, and a classic car show. Brunch admission is $8 for adults, $3 for ages 5-12, and free for under age 5. The brunch includes eggs, pancakes, sausage, hash browns, and breakfast beverages.

While the brunch has always been good over the years, the Lions Club members who prepare it have also provided a jovial atmosphere and is one of the Lion’s biggest fundraisers to help fund its charitable work.