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Days Gone By

River Falls ninth annual Town & Country Celebration at Glen Park was set for July 24-25, 1964, combining “Old Fashioned Bargain Days” with the ribbon cutting and dedication of Main Street, which renovation is almost completed. Plans were to have a four-block long “picnic table” with free barbecue for everyone. Patsy Wichman was chosen as Miss River Falls, with Heidi Steneman and Connie Lundberg her attendants. (River Falls Journal 1964 file photo)

10 YEARS AGO, JULY 15, 2004

Change was in the air this year for River Falls Days as the dunk tank and carnival rides were discontinued, but this year’s theme “Picnic in the Parks” promised lots of new and traditional activities with antique tractors added to the parade, dog agility fun and a petting zoo at Glen Park, inflatable carnival at the UW, and skateboard competition added this year.

New Royal Ambassadors for River Falls included Laura Haskins as Grand Ambassador; and Sheena Thompson and Tara Putzy named First and Second Royal Ambassadors, and Kelly Sylla, Miss Congeniality.

Seven-year-old Hannah Lee became the youngest person to finish the River Falls Days 10K run when she completed the race with her dad, Eric Lee, in just over an hour.

American Legion pitcher Brandon Gilbertson earned the win when River Falls beat Hastings 13-5 in the championship game of the Falls Classic Tournament.

20 YEARS AGO, JULY 21, 1994

Two little girls, Meghan Goff, 9; and Carey Field, 8, were recovering from injuries suffered after falling off a wobbly carnival ride during the opening hours of the annual River Falls Days festival.

In happier news Stephanie Schotter was named Miss River Falls Days; Todd Miller found the medallion at Hoffman Park on the hill near the trail; due to construction, the parade started at Meyer Middle School (now River Falls Academy building) and came across the Maple Street bridge before swinging south on Main Street; and one of the more popular events was going for an aerial ride in the fire department’s snorkel truck at Glen Park.

30 YEARS AGO, JULY 26, 1984

New board of directors at First National Bank included Dick Alexander, Dave and Donna Smith, Phil Betzel, Dick Delorit, Wayne Nelson, Rollie Hammer and Dave Benson.

Bob Schwalen, chairman of River Falls Days, promised a bigger and better event this year with a new feature: Fireworks at Hoffman Park ending the festival. Many of the events were to be held at Glen Park, with the dog show, money hunt and family-style picnics held there. A 90-unit parade was set to start at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, with everyone assembling at the American Legion and moving north to south to Spring Street, where they will disband.

Pat (Mrs. Wayne) Armstrong found the hidden medallion and received a $500 cash prize. She found it hidden in a culvert under Hanson Drive at Hoffman Park.

Kim Amdahl was named Miss River Falls, with Jodi Caflisch and Sheila Carr her princesses.

40 YEARS AGO, JULY 18, 1974

According to juvenile officer John Dinkel the city has  been plagued with vandalism since school let out with $6,665 worth of expenses incurred so far with windows damaged at the schools, vehicles vandalized and pushed almost into the river, picnic tables thrown over the swinging bridge in Glen Park, construction site targeted for theft and destruction, and in one week 15 youths were arrested for shoplifting alone.

A $10,000 study recommended combining the city hospital with St. Joseph’s to upgrade health needs services in the area. Combined, the two hospitals have a total of 66 beds in operation.

River Falls Days was set for July 16-18, with tickets available at a reduced price for the carnival show. Old Fashioned Bargain Days stated by merchants participating with a sidewalk and in-store citywide sale was set to begin on Friday; live music was to be at the Lindquist Motors lot both Friday and Saturday nights, and the new footbridge across the Kiinnickinnic was to be dedicated with canoe races  beginning at the footbridge a featured event. Another dedication was to be held on Sunday for Wells Park located in the College View addition.