History, Boone counties host small town Iowa festivals in 2021

Many celebrations in small towns in central Iowa were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned for enthusiastic crowds this summer.

If you’re doing your summer plans, be sure to jot down these Story and Boone County events for the whole family, listed in chronological order.

Colo Crossroads Festival marks the reopening of Hickory Grove Park

The Colo Crossroads Festival coincides with the grand reopening of Hickory Grove Park on Saturday July 10. All activities will take place at Hickory Grove. The celebration will include a live performance by chainsaw sculptor TJ Jenkins, Colo Crossroads Prince and Princess competition, sandcastle competition, parade, fun race, inflatables, dunk tank, volleyball tournament -ball, a variety of dishes and the amenities of the park.

Zearing Days has a parade, sand volleyball, street dancing and more

The Zearing Days will take place on July 23, 24 and 25, with food vendors in the park as well as the Whimsical Wine Trailer. A long list of activities includes a parade, golf cart poker race, photo scavenger hunt, Little Miss and Mr. Zearing contest, softball and sand volleyball tournaments, live music, a street dancing, fireworks and an antique tractor pull.

Story City’s Scandinavian Days Return with Focus on Local Bands

The Scandinavian Days in Story City are back this year as a one-day event on Saturday, July 24 (National Carousel Day), around the city’s 108-year-old carousel. Organizers aim to support local organizations, so all food vendors – like kumla on a stick and kringla by the dozen – will be sold by nonprofits and community service organizations. Other highlights include a 5K, Hovick Petting Zoo, live music, and fireworks.

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Gilbert Days: live music, Alluvial Brewing tour, sack tournament and more

The Gilbert Days will take place on July 30 and 31. The program of activities includes live music from Neil Hewitt and Red Dirt Renegade, carnival games, laser tag, inflatables, a car show and a tractor show. There will be food trucks and food vendors, nearby museum and Alluvial Brewing Company tours, a bag tournament and fireworks.

Maxwell Old Settlers lineup includes parade, food and entertainment

The Maxwell Old Settlers Celebration takes place on August 6, 7 and 8 and will include a parade and a long list of activities, food and entertainment.

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The Boone Pufferbilly Days will be held again in 2021.

Pufferbilly Days pays homage to the history of the Boone train

Boone’s annual Pufferbilly Days celebration returns on the weekend of August 6-8 in downtown Boone after being canceled last summer. Some details are still being finalized, but the weekend will feature a 5k race, talent show, sack tournament, beer tent, food court and more, according to its website.

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Lincoln Highway Days in Nevada

The celebration of Nevada’s Lincoln Highway Days will take place on August 28, and the schedule will be released in the near future.

Roaring Twenties Themed Huxley Prairie Festival

The Huxley Prairie Festival will be held August 27-28 and the theme will be “The Roaring Twenties”. The festival began in 1994. The celebration will include a parade, sand volleyball tournament, food, beer tent, live music, inflatables and a petting zoo. The Trivia Night will take place on August 28 and benefit Ballard Dollars for Scholars. Visit huxleyprairiefest.com to register for the parade and volleyball tournament or to register as a volunteer.