The yearly La Center Our Days is back this year and organizers plan to make it feel like the old days.
“Our purpose for Our Days is really to bring the city people with the rural people together and have an old fashioned meet and greet,” Festival Director Wendy Chord said. “We want to make it fun and have as many people as we can.”
According to Chord, the goal for Our Days this year is to bring it back to the old country feeling of years past with events like the Cakewalk and Cow Pie Bingo.
“It is extremely country old school,” she said.
While there are no new additions this year, Chord said La Center is “trying to find its niche” with this theme. “I think what it comes down to is we just don’t want to get into the commercialism (of big events),” she later added.
Friday, July 26
The event starts Friday night at Sternwheeler park with a showing of the movie “LEGO Movie 2” at dusk, with a Saturday full of festivities to follow.
Saturday, July 27
Saturday’s festivities kick off with a 5K Fun Run at Holley Park, 1000 E Fourth St., La Center.
Pre-registration for the 5K run is $30 and includes a free meal at the end. Pre-registration is only available until July 25 and can be done at lacenterourdays.com. Day of registration is $35.
Following the fun run is the “A Pirate’s Life For Me” grand parade at 10 a.m. Three years ago, the time for the parade was changed from a Friday night “Twilight Parade” to a Saturday morning parade. According to organizers, the parade was moved to the morning slot because “there is more participation on a Saturday morning” instead of Friday evening after work.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday morning at the La Center Church, 111 E 5th St., La Center and ends at Holley Park, where the rest of the day’s festivities are taking place. Registration for the parade is $15 for a personal entry, $25 for business and $50 for political. Registration is free for those who pre-register for the car show. Register at lacenterourdays.com.
According to Chord, there are no changes to the car show this year. However, the La Center car show is unique because there is not an age limit on the cars that can enter and the show even features a 21-and-younger category for young drivers and their cars. “They’ve souped ‘em up and fixed them up,” Chord said. “It’s a little bit of everything.”
The car show takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along with a slew of other events like the Kids Zone, Beer Garden, BBQ Lunch and Cow Pie Bingo. “We have an area flagged off and people come and they can buy a square,” Chord explained about Cow Pie Bingo, an event where people place money on where they think a cow will poop in a given area. A roped off area with a cow in it has numbered squares that correspond with numbers on a board.
“It sounds kind of corny and dorky, but it’s country and it’s fun,” she said.
At noon is the Beautiful Baby Contest.
“On any given day we will usually have 30-40 babies, as long as it isn’t too hot,” contest coordinator Linda Tracy said. “Our age divisions are 0-7 months, 8-12 months and 13-18 months. We have a winner in each division as well as a high point grand champion.”
The winners of the 17th Miss Teen La Center Pageant: Queen Skylar House and Princesses Leah Lee, Joslyn Grek-Porter, Dayna Hines and Anastasia Sneeringer are the judges. There is no pre-registration necessary for the contest and parents and babies show up at 11:45 a.m. for the noon contest.
Also happening is a cakewalk, an event Chord said was “surprisingly popular” after its addition last year. This year, the library (located across the street from the park) will be hosting the cakewalk at 1 p.m.
“What we’ve tried to do is (bring back) the things that are kind of lost,” she said.
It’s events like this that Chord said brings the community back to its roots and celebrations of old times.
“We tried to still keep that small town feel and also try to bring the rural people into the city because it’s their city too,” Chord said. “We’ve tried to keep it old fashioned.”