The 39th annual Edgerton Frontier Days celebration will run for two days, June 17 and 18 in downtown Edgerton.
The theme for this year’s event, “Returning to our Routes,” is a play on words organizershope will link the town’s past as a stop on the Santa Fe railroad during the early part of the 19th century with the present construction of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Intermodal Logistics Park.
“We’re kind of back to our roots. We started as a railroad town and we’re going to finish as a railroad town and we’re OK with that,” said one of the Frontier Day’s committee members Janeice Rawles. “This year the grand marshals will be our BNSF representatives – part of the reason we’re doing that is because we want out citizens to be proud and glad that they’re here. (The Intermodal) is a win-win, for us and for them and we want (BNSF) to be glad they’re here. Instead of feeling bad that the Intermodal is here we’re trying to support them.”
The two-day event will feature unique, hard-to-find activities that are throwbacks to the time of the town’s incorporation in 1883. Attendees will still find popular events like the pretty baby contest, the ice cream social and Cops-and-Bobbers, where members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department conduct a casting contest for children. Also for the kids, bounce houses, inflatables, frog and turtle races and a pedal tractor pull will take place.
Festival attendees will be wowed when carver Curtis Ingvoldstad takes center stage with his chainsaw and whittles logs into intricate figures. All art created by Ingvoldstad will be auctioned throughout the event.
A beer garden will be featured at the event with entertainment provided in the evenings. Friday night guests can expect to be entertained by DJ Phil Davis. On Saturday evening the band Prairie Wine, featuring local artists, will take the stage and play a variety of classic rock, blues, country and oldies.
Organizers say they could still use volunteers, and monetary donations would help to keep the event alive this year and in the future.
“We need for people to come in and help, volunteer. It’s a lot of work getting it all set up. That and now with the economy donations are few and far between,” said Glyn Powers, who has been a member of the committee for the better part of a decade. “I don’t want it to stop, you know, it’s a nice little celebration and it (would be) hard to give it up, especially if you’ve been here for awhile.”
Rawles said the festival is important in maintaining Edgerton’s identity. She believes the event fosters community spirit and pride and is something that people can look forward to celebrating each summer. Rawles also said that families would enjoy the celebration because of the wide variety of activities that will be offered. As a bonus, she pointed out, most of the activities are free, so it is a cost effective way to socialize and entertain.
“You can meet your neighbors and your children’s classmates and just see what the town has to offer,” Rawles said. “It’s a free weekend, we charge for the beer, charge for the carnival, craft and food booths, but most other items are free. It’s right here in town, you don’t have to leave, you can support your own town and that’s what I’ve always enjoyed about it, it’s right here. It’s just a great way to get out and meet the people of your community.”