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Changes, new events slated for 2012 Old Settlers’ Festival in Oskaloosa

“Embracing traditions and new beginnings” is this year’s theme at Oskaloosa’s Old Settlers’ Festival beginning Thursday and running through Saturday, June 21-23, around the courthouse square.“It seems fitting, as this year’s festival boasts exciting changes and event additions,” said Matt Miller, an Old Settlers’ organizer.

Among the changes are a return of an Old Settlers’ favorite — funnel cakes. For years, the Oskaloosa Eagles sold the treat. Upon its disbandment, the committee struggled to find an organization willing to continue the tradition. Earlier this year, Miller suggested hiring Crazy 8 Concessions of Lawrence to resurrect the funnel cake tradition.

“Each year we hear people comment about bringing back funnel cakes,” Miller said. “The committee is thrilled to announce their triumphant return!”

A unique form of entertainment awaits festival goers Thursday night in the form of square dancing. The River Bend Promenadors will put on a fun, old-fashioned square dancing act that’s sure to entertain. Audience participation is encouraged but not required.

A few modifications have also been made to the parade Saturday. Historically, the parade has passed the main stage twice — once coming from the north and again returning from the south. This year, it will pass by the stage only once when it comes from the north. The remaining parade route will not change.

Parade line-up is at 5 p.m. at Oskaloosa High School. Previously, the parade judging took place as the parade passed the main stage, with prizes being awarded as the participants returned. This year, pre-judging will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the high school. Prizes will be awarded as the parade passes the stage. Those wishing to be in the parade should contact John at 785-224-9534.

“This is a big change for parade participants and attendees,” Miller said. “It should generate an additional 30 to 40 minutes, which will alleviate major time crunches we’ve experienced with post parade activities.”

Perhaps the most talked about addition will be the Friday Night Block Party featuring the music of the popular band, Sellout. The band performs a variety of cover songs ranging from Johnny Cash to Lady Gaga, all in period costumes. Most festivals charge an admission fee but at Old Settlers’ admission is free.

“This is going to be the ultimate entertainment experience for all ages,” said committee member Cathy Dailey. “Sellout is unique. They’re engaging and put on a memorable show.”

The block party will include a beer garden for those of age. Committee member Gus Barnett will oversee its operation. It will run from 9 p.m. to midnight. Those of age will be required to show a photo ID and will also be given a wristband and tickets for beer upon entry. Full compliance with beer garden rules is expected of participants.

A full-page layout, listing all events and activities, will be printed in the Oskaloosa Independent the week of Old Settlers. Those wanting additional information on any aspect of the festival should contact Miller at 785-640-5984 or Cathy Dailey at 785-224-8822 or visit the festival’s facebook page.

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Posted by on Jun 12 2012. Filed under County News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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