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Rivertown Days kicks off Monday with medallion hunt

There's a medallion hunt, a big parade with bands and floats, arts and crafts, a carnival along the river, lots of musical entertainment, tournaments, children's games and activities, contests to enter, food booths and a fireworks display.

The 2012 Rivertown Days, coordinated by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce, is about to begin. This year's festival is set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 20-22. A special teen night is set for 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at the Hastings Family Aquatic Center.

Rivertown Days buttons, at $3 each, are available at Hastings businesses and gain admittance to Jaycee Park for the wearer.The proceeds from the sale of the buttons defray the cost of the fireworks and other festival expenses.

Edina Realty Medallion Hunt's first clue will be released Monday, July 16, at the Edina Realty office, 1640 S. Frontage Road. The clues are updated daily and are available during regular business hours at the office. They will also be announced on KDWA Radio. The medallion is hidden on public property within the city limits. The prize is $500 with a Rivertown Days button, $250 without the button. For office hours, visit

Participants are reminded that no climbing or digging is required.

The hunt officially kicks off this year's Rivertown Days festival.

The amateur photography contest, sponsored by Mac McGoon Portrait Design Studio, is under way. There are four categories - people, animals, historic Hastings and landscapes. Prizes will be awarded. Participants should submit an 8 x 10 photo, unmounted and unframed, by 5:30 p.m. July 18, to studio, 1100 Westview Drive. The cost is $5 per entry.

Entries will be displayed in the carriage house at the LeDuc Historic Estate during Rivertown Days.

Teen Night at the Hastings Family Aquatic Center is scheduled from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Sponsored by Smead Manufacturing Co., the evening includes open swim for teens 13 to 17, musical entertainment by a DJ, games, dancing and giveaways. There is no admission charge and the concession stand will be open.

The music shows are set for the music stage at Jaycee Park. A complete schedule is available at rivertowndays.

Erickson Marina is sponsoring custom helicopter rides by MN Helicopter Rides at the business, Highway 61 north of Hastings, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 21.

The Minnesota Herpetological Society will present its program about reptiles and amphibians from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21, and from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22, in Jaycee Park.

The United Methodist Church will hold its pancake breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22 at the church, 615 W. 15th St.

This year's parade is at noon, Sunday, July 22, and begins at 10th and Ramsey Streets. The route is north on Ramsey Street (opposite the one way), to Second Street, west to Eddy Street, ending at Fourth and Eddy streets.

There are about 100 units in the parade, including the Hastings High School Marching Band and Alumni Band.

The YMCA duck race is at 3 p.m. Sunday on the Vermillion River (near 31st Street). Each plastic duck has its own number corresponding to the number on the tickets sold to participants. Winners receive prizes. Even the last one to cross the finish line receives a prize - a gift certificate to a Hastings gas station.

Lumberjacks return

Combine a bit of logging history and competition and add some comedy.

The Timberworks Lumberjack Show returns to the 2012 Hastings Rivertown Days festival. The shows are at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21; and at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at Jaycee Park.

There are seven different events as part of the shows.

In the hot saw event, a modified chain saw slides through 14 inches of special aspen wood in just seconds.

In speed carving, the lumberjacks use a variety of old time and modern tools to finish the race.

For the axe throw event, the lumberjacks from a distance of 20 feet aims for the five-inch bulls-eye at the center of the target.

In speed climbing, the competitors race up and down a 25-foot pole in seconds.

For the single buck competition, a six-foot-long saw is used to slice through 12 inches of aspen wood with the speed of a modern day power saw.

Log rollers will bounce and spin on the log in this competition.

In the underhand events, the lumberjacks race to split a log in half beneath their feet by chopping halfway through on one side, and then turning to finish on the other side. The lumberjack uses a razor-sharp axe between his feet.