ST. PAUL PARK — Organizers have pumped up the volume for this year's Heritage Days Festival. It runs Aug. 16-18.
The party blasts off Friday night with fireworks at Heritage Park, continues with a mud volleyball tournament Saturday morning, followed by the Grande Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday's events also include a street fair, petting zoo, food fair, motorcycle and car show, Boy Scout dunk tank, fire engine display and corn hole tournament.
A schedule of events can be found at https://stpaulpark.org.
"There's going to be quite a few more bands this year," St. Paul Park Mayor Sandi Dingle said.
The lineup tilts heavily toward barroom blues and rock. The music starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday with a set by Twin Cities guitar slingers Distilled. The six-piece band Generation Rock will provide a classic rock soundtrack at the Saturday night street dance. The Brother Jon performs 2-4:30 p.m. Sunday. All shows take place on the main stage at the corner of Third and Broadway avenues.
Sunday's highlights include the return of the Northern Lights Wrestling Club. The brawl begins at 2:30 p.m., but folks might want to get there early to see two mayors settle a bet.
Dingle made a wager with Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey to see who could collect the most school supplies for Friends in Need Food Shelf.
"The mayor of whichever city collects the most school supplies gets to throw a pie in the face of the other," Dingle said.
The bulk of the supplies were collected during Cottage Grove's Night to Unite and St. Paul Park's National Night Out.
"We collected four pallets of school supplies," Dingle said.
She doesn't know if that's enough to top Cottage Grove. Only one person knows who won — Barb Koch, who volunteers as the school supply drive coordinator for Friends in Need Food Shelf. She'll make the announcement Sunday at the Heritage Days Festival.
It's driving me nuts," Dingle said. "She's won't tell me."
The real winners are the needy kids who will get new notebooks, pens and other supplies before heading back to school.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to thank all the people who stepped up and made the contributions of school supplies," Dingle said.
The Grande Parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, at Heritage Park at Portland and 13th avenues and heads north on Summit Avenue, west on Broadway Avenue and concludes at Second Street. The theme is Fast Times on Broadway. This year's grand marshal is Howie Tellin.
Tellin, of Cottage Grove, is a longtime member of American Legion Post 98. An Army veteran, he continues to honor deceased comrades by playing "Taps" on his coronet with the American Legion and VFW Post 8752 honor guards. On Memorial Day weekend, they perform at 10 different cemeteries.
Tellin also has volunteered as a member of the Memorial Rifle Squad at Fort Snelling for the past 23 years. The squad provides honor guard services for military veterans five days a week, in all weather.
"In February, when the temperature was 25 below and the schools were closed, he was out a Fort Snelling, blowing his bugle for the fallen," said American Legion Auxiliary member and bar manager Collen Scheler.
The Business of the Year is Total Mechanical Services. The St. Paul Park construction company specializes in construction and repair of ice rinks. In March, they repaired the refrigeration system and replaced a floor at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena.
All performances are on the main stage at the corner of Third and Broadway avenues.
1 p.m. Saturday: Distilled
3-4:30 p.m. Saturday: FlyBy and the LedHeads. As might be guessed from the name, they've got a heavy Led Zeppelin influence. They also play assorted grunge and metal covers by Guns N' Roses, Nirvana and Metallica, along with their own songs
5-6:30 p.m. Saturday: Hawk45 Music, The trio's set includes a rock-solid version of "Gimme Three Steps" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
7- 11 p.m. Saturday: Six-piece classic rock cover band Generation Rock will play at the street dance
2-4:30 p.m. Sunday: The Brother Jon Band, road-tested blues rockers who released their first album, "Open Jam," in February.