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Akeley to fete Paul Bunyan despite road construction

For six decades the community of Akeley has celebrated the legendary lumberjack, Paul Bunyan. This summer, despite road and water main construction, will be no exception.

The 63rd annual Paul Bunyan Days will be held Friday through Sunday, June 24-26 on Akeley's main boulevard, with parking on side streets

The schedule of events includes parades, games for kids and adults, a pie social, minnow races, a kids' fishing contest, mini tractor pull, dances for teens and adults with great food, a refreshment garden, flea market and crafters, live music and many prizes awarded.

A $2 Paul Bunyan ticket puts your name in the hat for a 42-inch plasma television, a Weber gas grill and a patio set.

In keeping with "lumberjack" tradition, noted woodcarver Paul Albright will be demonstrating his work at 5 p.m. in Pinecone Park.

The Akeley Lions will host a fish fry from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday on Paul's Patio.

Minnow racing will begin at 6 p.m. by Em's Coffee and Deli, Quality Bait sponsoring the event.

Games of bingo will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center.

"Sold Out" will send adults out on Paul's Patio dance floor from 8 p.m. to midnight. A teen dance will be held from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in the fire hall, compliments of the Eastern Hubbard County Fire District. Kelly's Party to Go will provide tunes.

Saturday, sample homemade pie beyond compare at the pie social, to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the senior center.

Inflatables will entertain kids from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

A cakewalk, hosted by Akeley Fire and Rescue Auxiliary, will be underway at noon on Paul's Patio.

Kids, grab a parent, a life jacket and your rod and reel and head on down to the pier for the kiddie fishing tourney to be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Bait will be furnished, prizes awarded.

A horseshoe tournament will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the VFW. Cost is $5 per person with teams drawn. Horseshoes will be provided.

Turtles will be on the starting line for races at 4 p.m. under the water tower. Entry is $2 with turtles provided. Registration begins at 3:30 p.m. The Akeley Fire and Rescue Auxiliary sponsors the races.

A money hunt for kids will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Paul's Patio.

At 6:30 p.m. line-up for the kiddie parade begins at the First National Bank parking lot. The Broadway entertainers will receive prizes for the most colorful, original and humorous with goodie bags for all. The parade will head down the boulevard at 7 p.m.

Trip the light fantastic from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the patio. Billy D and the Crystals will provide musical entertainment. In the event of inclement weather, the dance will be moved to the fire hall.

An outdoor ecumenical church service, hosted by First Lutheran and Akeley United Methodist churches, will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday at Paul's Patio. Fran Gack and Frank Lamb will provide music.

Head to the VFW for breakfast Sunday, to be served from 8 to 11 a.m. by auxiliary members.

Line-up for the grand parade begins at 11:30 a.m. on Pleasant with the majestic parade heading down Broadway at 1 p.m.

After the parade, head to the patio for an ice cream and pie social. Frankly Country will entertain. Drawings will be made for prizes. A purchase of a button buys a chance for door prizes.

Kids, at 3 p.m. the fire hall is the place to be. A competitive tractor pull will put you in the driver's seat for fame and prizes. (Bring your parents. They'll need to sign a permission slip.)

A refreshment garden is open throughout the weekend.