Badgerfest returns!

Annual festival kicks off June 17

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Ryan Friesth, of Fort Dodge, a member of the Bonehead Barbecue team, samples some of their pulled pork during a previous Badgerfest. They were preparing for judging at the BBQ Battle at the Badger Fest. His fellow team member, Dan Davis, worked at left.

BADGER — Badgerfest will return for its fourth consecutive year on June 17, according to Mandy Gascho, who is organizing the event.

Badgerfest made a comeback in 2014 after a 10-year hiatus.

Gascho said the event continues to grow.

“There is a lot more activities than there was last year,” she said.

The festivities will kick off with coronation of little Mr. and Ms. Badgerfest. The crowning will take place on the town’s main street, First Avenue SE, at 9:30 a.m.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Anthony Johnson, of Fort Dodge, checks the temperature of his chicken during the BBQ Battle of a previous annual Badger Fest. Johnson spent most of the night staying awake to keep an eye on his slowly cooking food.

At 10 a.m. the parade will make its way down main street, Gascho said.

Batman will be making an appearance at that time, she said.

“There’s a guy called Batman of Madison,” Gascho said.

The man from Wisconsin apparently has an authentic Batman suit, she said.

Gascho said she wasn’t sure yet if he would be bringing the Batmobile.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Lexi Groat, 6, of Badger, modeled the latest in pink firefighting gear as she rode on one of the Badger Fire Department's trucks during a previous Badger Fest parade.

“He didn’t give me any details,” she said. “He may have a Batmobile.”

Following the parade there will be a VFW salute at the Badger Fire Station.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be a craft and vendor fair held at Knudson Park.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. a host of kids games will be offered inside and outside of the Badger Public Library.

Games include: donkey house games, bouncy house, life sized games, gunny sack races, cake walk, seek and find cornpit, a dunk tank, and bubble and hula hoop.

A one time cost of $5 grants kids access to all the games.

An over 40 versus under 40 softball tournament will be held at the ball diamond at noon.

Water fights will follow at 2 p.m. The water fights are at the Badger Fire Station.

At 3 p.m. an event from years past will make a comeback.

The grease pig competition will be held at the ball diamond.

Participants 12 and up will have the opportunity to catch a greased-up pig within the park.

“Whoever catches the pig gets a trophy,” Gascho said. “They used to do this years ago.”

Gascho hasn’t participated in the event herself yet, but said her sisters remember it.

She said a section of the ball diamond will be closed off to make it a little easier for participants.

Pigs aren’t the only thing that have been greased at Badgerfest, Gascho said.

“One year they greased a pole and put a hundred dollar bill at the top,” she said. “Whoever got to the top got the money.”

Car and motorcycle show registration will start at 4 p.m.

The car and motorcycle show is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Beaver Creek Trio Band will also be performing during that time.

A 50/50 raffle and hula hoop competition for all ages will also be available to attendees.

The Road Hard Band will put a cap on the night during a concert on main street from 8 p.m. to midnight.

T-shirts for the event will also be available. Kids shirts cost $10. Adults shirts cost $15.

On Sunday at 9 a.m. Badger Lutheran Church will host a nondenominational service at the church.

Gascho said she still has memories of Badgerfest when she was younger.

“I remember being in the parade as a child,” she said. “I got to hold the banner for the public library and I thought that was really cool.”

Her hope is that Badgerfest will become as popular as it once was.

“I just want people to come out and have a good time,” she said. “Badgerfest was a really big deal in the past and I just want it to be what it used to be.”