Badgerfest is fun, memorable

The event gets better each year, volunteer says

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Madden Bailey, 8, of Badger, at left, uses the old “spray them in the face” trick during his water fight battle with Kadence Johnson, 11, of Badger during the Children’s Water Fights at the annual Badgerfest in 2017. The event was hosted by the Badger Fire Department.

BADGER — Memories of carrying a banner for the Badger Public Library as a kid during the Badgerfest parade and later watching adults try to climb a greased pole with a $100 bill at the top always stuck with Mandy Gascho.

So when she found out Badgerfest was not going to continue a few years back, she wanted to change that.

“This news was devastating to me,” she said. “Growing up in Badger I have so many good, fun memories of past Badgerfests. I want my children to have the same experiences and memories of Badgerfest that I had.”

Gascho decided to volunteer her time to help save the celebration.

Badgerfest made a comeback in 2014 after a 10-year hiatus and has continued to grow in recent years, according to Gascho.

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Jane and Ronald Picray, of Monticello, enjoy the passing scenery as they sit on his 1948 Farmall Model H during Badgerfest 2017. Picray modified the tractor with a seat from a Chrysler van and a few pieces of “Scrap out of the iron pile.”

The fun this year will start with the coronation of Little Mr. and Mrs. Badgerfest. The crowning will take place on the town’s main street, First Avenue Southeast, at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The parade will follow at 10 a.m.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. a vendor fair will be held on Second Street Southeast. Gascho said there will be at least 45 different vendors there.

At 10:45 a.m., a VFW salute will be held at the city’s Veterans Memorial at the Badger Fire Station.

A variety of kids games will take place in and around the Badger Public Library.

Kids games will require a $5 bracelet to participate.

Bouncy house, cake walk, bunnies, face painting, dunk tank, a climbing wall, and seek ‘n find, will be offered.

“I am looking forward to some of the new things we have this year which includes rabbits, a petting area for rabbits,” Gascho said. “Kids always love animals. The magic show is new this year. The adult water fights with the Fire Department is new this year. That should be a lot of fun. Last year they had kid water fights, this year there will be both.”

From 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Larry Dunbar will perform his magic.

Also during that time, the water fights will be held in front of the Badger Fire Station.

“We are trying to get stuff for more older kids, too,” Gascho said. “Not just younger ones.”

At 3 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to try and catch a greased pig at the city’s baseball diamond.

Whoever catches the pig will earn a trophy.

Car and motorcycle show registration will start at 4 p.m., along with Badger Bacon Bash. The Badger Bacon Bash is a competition among bacon enthusiasts, Gascho said. Contestants are asked to invent a dish that includes bacon.

The dishes need to be served in sample sizes.

The crowd will vote on “most creative,” “tastiest,” and “most baconlicious.” The winner of the contest will receive a trophy.

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. the car and motorcycle show will be held along the First Avenue Southeast. The Beaver Creek Band will perform at that time.

This year’s celebration will also hold a raffle to help Gascho’s brother-in-law, Adam Gascho.

Adam Gascho was involved in a car crash in Fort Dodge in April.

“They have a lot of medical bills and expenses from him being hospitalized,” Mandy Gascho said. “He grew up in Badger. He’s well known in town.”

He is still recovering from the accident, she said.

“He had numerous fractures, internal bleeding, head lacerations, a ruptured bladder,” she said. “Every day he is improving and getting better.”

A raffle for Adam Gascho will be held starting at 5 p.m.

The Broken Keys, a band from Des Moines, will rock main street during the street dance from 8 p.m. to midnight to conclude Badgerfest.

Gascho said each year, Badgerfest is improving.

“Every year we grow and are building off of the previous year,” she said. “We are getting new members which is awesome and needed. The members we do have put in a lot of time.”

Badgerfest schedule of events


9:30 a.m. coronation of Little Mr. and Mrs. Badgerfest

10 a.m. parade along city’s main street, First Avenue Southeast

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. vendor fair, Second Street Southeast

10:45 a.m. VFW salute, Veterans Memorial at Badger Fire Department

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kid’s games in and around the library, bouncy house, cake walk, bunnies, face painting, dunk tank, climbing wall, seek ‘n find

Noon over 40s and under 40s softball tournament at the ball diamond

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. magic show on stage along First Avenue Southeast

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. water fights in front of Badger Fire Station

3 p.m. greased pig contest

4 p.m. car/motorcycle show lineup and registration, Badger Bacon Bash — bacon dish competition

5 p.m. to 8 p.m. car/motorcycle show, Beaver Creek Band, Raffle for Adam Gascho, on main street.

8 p.m. to midnight The Broken Keys on stage, First Avenue Southeast