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Iowa’s Oldest Labor Day Celebration: Graettinger ready for 113th party

By Staff | Sep 3, 2009

The Graettinger/Terril Marching Band will be one o the traditional entries in the 2009 Graettinger Labor Day Parad on Monday. EDN file photo

It would probably be safe to say there isn’t anyone old enough in these parts to argue.

Graettinger is holding its 113th annual Labor Day celebration, the longest-running in the region.

Yes, for 113 years Graettinger has held parades, played games and brought folks together in the annual event that spans three days, from Saturday through Monday.

One of the highlights is McDermott Amusements, which will open the carnival starting at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and after the parade Monday.

“It’s really a nice show,” said J.R. Brown, one of the coordinators of this year’s celebration. “They’ve been coming for years.”

The three-block midway will be open until 9 p.m. each night and will feature eight or nine large rides and the same number of smaller rides.

Also bound to get a lot of attention again this year will be the antique tractor pull starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. There’s also a demolition derby next to North Valley Apartments from 4-7 p.m. and the street dance starting at 9 p.m. and going until 1 a.m.

New this year will be the mechanical bull at the Side Street Saloon starting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Another new event will be the Tri-State Cage Fighting Fights starting at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the demo derby site. The gates open at 6 p.m. General admission is $20 with ringside seats $35.

The ATV pull and ATV mud bog, both at the demo derby site, are sure to please the crowds with both events starting at 1:30 p.m.

Monday’s highlight will again be the parade featuring 150-plus entries starting at 1:45 p.m.

Capping it all off Monday night will be the grand drawing at 7 p.m. with cash drawings totaling $8,000 plus the ambulance quilt raffle.

For a full schedule of Graettinger Labor Day festivities, see Tuesday’s Estherville Spirit for details.