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River Falls Days goes retro

<i>Phil Pfuehler photo</i> The Chamber of Commerce's Nick Carstens and Rosanne Bump flash peace signs, keeping with the theme of this year's River Falls Days, Kinnistock. Carstens sits atop a souped-up tricycle used in the Faster Pastor Races held on Second Street, and scattered on the table are River Falls Days buttons, which cost $3 apiece and bring discounts to some events, free street dance admittance and eligibility for cash-prize drawings.

The annual summer festival River Falls Days kicks off Thursday July 8 and concludes Sunday July 11 with a fireworks display at dusk high over Hoffman Park.

"We hope there's enough variety that everyone can join in and have a good time," said Chamber of Commerce Director Rosanne Bump.

Kinnistock is a play on the famous 1969 music festival Woodstock.

Besides its effect on the Friday night parade, the Kinnistock theme will be evident a day earlier on Thursday when Rubber Soul, a Beatles Tribute Band, performs a free street dance downtown from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Another trademark from that era will be exhibited from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday when a Tie Dye Party, sponsored by Dish and Spoon Café and Karma Gifts, is held. For $10 participants get a T-shirt and materials to do their own creations.

And on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Harmony Hair Design, 128 S. Main St., is sponsoring Best '60s Hairstyle. Anyone can show up with historic hair and have their pictures taken. The best-looking Sixties hairdo, with a prize, will be announced at 4 p.m.

At The West Wind Supper Club at 5 p.m. Sunday, under a tent, it won't be flower but muscle power that prevails. The West Wind is sponsoring Peek-A-Boo style boxing matches.

Bump noted a couple of additions to this year's River Falls Days:

  • Bingo with cash prizes, right after church, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Second and Locust streets. A series of bingo-related games is scheduled to last three hours as long as there are enough players. Bump says the game is open to everyone: "You don't have to bring anything except a few bucks."
  • A new, more compact city route for the 10K/2-mile run that starts at 8 a.m. Saturday on Cascade Avenue by Dairy Queen. Bump says the citywide routes will be more scenic and offer more shade than the old ones. The finish is still at Glen Park.
  • The Bean Burrito Eating Contest, now in its third year, sponsored by Mariachi Loco, has become a big River Falls Days attraction. It's free to watch and held in the area of Second and Locust streets.

Bump said last year's carnival operator was unavailable. An attempt will be made to find another carnival for next year. There will be lots of kid-friendly activities in the 100 block of East Locust Street from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. These include inflatables for bouncing, face painting, gymnastics, crafts, juggling, a magician, the Teddy Bear Band performing and more.

Bump said the Medallion Hunt, which starts on Friday, draws a young, enthusiastic crowd including families who try to decipher the publicly posted clues.

"It's fun to watch them all chasing around town, many on their bikes, testing their local knowledge and hoping to uncover that medallion and win the prize," Bump said.

Other River Falls Days highlights: Royal Ambassadors program (new candidates competing), dunk tank, teen dances, kiddie parade, firefighters water fight, beer garden, food vendors, sidewalk merchant sales, tractor and truck pulls, bench press competition, petting zoo, softball and marble tournaments, talent show, citywide garage sales and more.

Learn more about River Falls Day by contacting the Chamber at: 425-2533 or Get more details on scheduled events in the July 8 print edition of the River Falls Journal.