Jamestown is returning to normal after (like most American cities) it was shut down for a year due to COVID-19. Last year Buffalo Days and the AAUW annual Garden Tour were canceled. But not this year.
There’s so much happening here it almost makes a body dizzy trying to list everything, much less physically get everywhere. And you’ll want to make it all over town. Besides the AAUW garden tour that starts today at 4 p.m., this weekend will stir the memories of days passed and make you feel “all is well” once again.
Besides the parade that kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at McElroy Park, you may want to schedule time for clustering events. If you have little ones, the parade will be uppermost for the morning. Their day may be centered more at Fort Seward where events are geared to include children and families. It starts at 10 a.m. with a military flag raising of that glorious national banner that rises high atop the western ridge of Jamestown. They can learn about 150 years of fashion at 11:30 a.m. By noon through 5 p.m. they can get involved in a scavenger hunt, or at 12:30 be a part of a relay race at Fort Seward.
After noon, you may want to get the kiddos downtown to McElroy Park for the inflatables and vendors show. McElroy Park and the Historic 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse will each have musicians on hand for the adults. Grant Invie will be on guitar doing country/Western tunes on the lawn at the courthouse starting at 1 p.m, and Old Friends Band will be at McElroy Park. Either site will be a break from the activities and offer a quieter moment to reminisce with friends and family. Incredibly Real kicks off a Saturday evening street dance at 8 p.m. at the Corner Bar. But even then, Saturday will not be over.
During the day, starting at 10 a.m. The Arts Center downtown will conduct its annual Mini-Art Hunt throughout Jamestown. Information can be found on The Art Center’s Facebook page, and clues, rules and updates will be available throughout the day. That alone, the search, is one of the most invigorating activities of the day. It’s a family pack car, windows down and everybody looking everywhere for the tiny works of art. Whether an adult or a kid, that’s one of the most enjoyable activities of the day … and safest. No masks are needed in your own vehicle with the fam.
Sunday events top off the weekend celebration with Fort Seward raising Old Glory at 10 a.m. and continuing its historic educational activities during the day.
Whether it's Saturday or Sunday, the kiddos and families will enjoy taking a break at the 1883 courthouse. Both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., they can walk through the new civics display and learn about cops and robbers, trials and jails, and the people who helped make Jamestown into the model city it is today.
The older kids and parents will want to get to the fairgrounds by 1 p.m. for James River Mud Off-roaders Drag Races ($10 entry), or back up to Fort Seward for the big guns demonstration. The infantry drill is at 1, followed at 1:30 p.m. with the Howitzer firing and at 2 a Gatling Gun demonstration. Just as a reminder; It’s LOUD, so be prepared. But stay a little longer and bid on one of the delicious pies that will at 2:30 p.m. be up for auction. Those pies are worth the wait.
Following a year off schedule, it’s great to finally be back on one. Buffalo Days is a step in the direction of “All’s Well.” Remember to practice safe distancing and bring a mask, just in case. We never know if there’s a new variant or a vulnerable person nearby. Yep, it’s still a problem, but we can gather in safety if we use common sense and remember we are none in this alone. Have fun at the AAUW garden tour today and this weekend celebrating Buffalo Days.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send it to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.