Monona Hay Days will return June 12

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A group is hard at work planning the return of Hay Days, Monona’s annual summertime celebration, which will be held on Saturday, June 12. Committee members include (left to right) Monona Chamber and Economic Development, Inc. (MCED) Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson, MCED Director Linda Landt, Hay Days Vice-Chair Mary Drahn Baumgardner, Hay Days Chairperson Teresa Graham, MCED President Linda Knockel and Monona resident Sally Bromelkamp. Not pictured is Isaac Brehmer. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

A group is hard at work planning the return of Hay Days, Monona’s annual summertime celebration.

 

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, June 12. Festivities will kick off at noon with the parade.

 

“The theme is Monona, recognizing Monona as the first Garden City of Iowa,” said Hay Days chairperson Teresa Graham.

 

Entrants can begin registering now by contacting parade coordinator Isaac Brehmer at (563) 880-6428 or brehmer217@gmail.com.

 

Following the parade will be the opening ceremony in downtown Monona, featuring the Hay Days King and Queen, Quilts of Valor recipients and the Boy Scouts, as well as performances by the MFL MarMac Bulldog Dance Team and Legacy Show Choir.

 

Other activities will include a car show, tractor pull, carriage rides and bingo. A quilt fair, organized by the Northeast Iowa Quilt Guild, will take place at Living Faith United Methodist Church. Fitting for Hay Days, attendees will also have an opportunity to take photos in front of a Hawkeye hay bale. 

 

“There’s going to be a beard contest, with judging on the longest, most groomed, most gray and most unique,” Graham added. “We’re also working on having a small craft fair.”

 

Kids will be easily occupied with a bounce house, dunk tank, money machine, sand pile dig, face painting, kiddie tractor pull, go-karts, a driving simulator and a new bungee ride.

 

“We will also have a lot of games,” said Graham. “We’re always trying to do something different.”

 

Some of this year’s games will include a triathlon, an adult tricycle and Hungry Hungry Hippos, where teams will try to collect balls with baskets—similar to the children’s board game.

 

In addition, Hay Days will have a variety of food vendors, including the Cattlemen’s Association’s famous steak sandwiches, along with a beer tent.

 

By purchasing refreshments from vendors, or participating in activities, attendees will receive tickets to put toward gift baskets and other prizes.

 

Later in the day, entertainment will include music by Steve Schroeder from 2 to 6 p.m., a performance by the youth dance team Star Power at 4 p.m., and music by Beau Timmerman from 7 to 11 p.m.

 

Graham said donations pay for the Hay Days activities. Many are manned by non-profit organizations, who charge a small fee and use the event as a fundraiser.

 

“Because of the pandemic, a lot of them haven’t been able to do fundraising,” she noted, “so they are very anxious to come in.”

 

That group effort is what has made Hay Days so successful, Graham noted. Although around seven people are on the main Hay Days committee and meet regularly, others help out the day of the event.

 

“Everybody does little things,” she said. “It takes a lot of people working together to make it happen.”

 

After a year off due to COVID-19, Graham believes the community is just as excited as the planning committee to see Hay Days back.

 

“People need it. They’re anxious to get out,” she said. “We’ve been very successful in growing this event every year, and think it will be better than ever. This event is for the community.”

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