River Days returns

Lehigh’s 36th annual celebration is June 16-18

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Jimmie Hurley, of Fort Dodge, looks for bargains among the vendors at the 2016 Lehigh River Days flea market. Other events included mud volleyball and a log rolling competition.

LEHIGH — The 36th annual Lehigh River Days, scheduled for June 16-18, is just around the next bend in the Des Moines River and features a few changes.

Lehigh River Days committee chairman Dan Smith said the biggest change this year is the Saturday morning parade has been moved away from downtown and will now start at the Lehigh Telephone Co. on Webster County road D43 (Old Highway 50).

The parade will follow residential streets and end up at the ballpark which is where almost all the events will be located this year.

“Nine years ago we tried it. We needed to get it all together.” he said. “It turned out well and everybody liked it.”

This year’s parade marshal is Roger Smith, 81, a lifelong resident of Lehigh.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Members of VFW Post 1856, of Fort Dodge, lead the 2016 Lehigh River Days parade across the Des Moines River bridge

“He’s helped out in many ways over the years,” Smith said.

Those include serving on the City Council, president of the Lehigh Museum, Lions Club and constructing and maintaining the sand volleyball courts, the Senior Center parking lot and work on the road at the cemetery.

Following the parade, which starts at 10 a.m., there will a host of events to attend in the ballpark. They include the flea market and craft sale, library DVD and book sale, fire department dunk tank, children’s games, cake walk, bingo, sand volleyball and the Cruise to the Valley car show.

There will be a few things downtown including the River Days Lunch at the Senior Center following the parade and the Lehigh Historic Museum will be open. The Senior Center is also the place to be for supper with the Lehigh Fire Department’s pork loin supper at 7:30 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy the Road Toast Band in the ballpark from 8 p.m. to midnight.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Goldie Davis, 6, of Lehigh, works to keep up with her candy collecting during the 2016 annual Lehigh River Days Parade as a fresh batch of lollipops fly through the air.

There is also the annual Classic Carp Fishing Contest on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Jesse Ulicki at 351-1824 to register.

On Saturday afternoon there will also be a memorial service for Colin Murphy who drowned in the Des Moines River last year.

“The firemen are going to present a memorial to his parents,’ Smith said. “They’re also going to shoot water over the bridge.”

Smith said several area fire departments are holding the service and the public is welcome.

While Saturday is the big day for Lehigh River Days, Friday also offers events.

There are Little League games in the ballpark, the Historical Museum is open and the library will have its DVD/Book sale at their downtown location. In the evening, Danny Smith and the Ghostriders will play in the ballpark from 7 to 10 p.m.

The celebration continues into Sunday as well.

There is a community church service in the ballpark at 8 a.m. Lehigh Lions Club pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. in the ballpark and the River Days raffle drawing at 11 a.m. in the ballpark. Mud Volleyball is also back this year, it starts at 9 a.m. in the East Green by the river.

Smith said he would like to see a few more vendors and there’s plenty of room for more classic cars in the carshow.

Shirts, hats and raffle tickets will be available.

For more information contact Dan or Sue Smith at 359-2502.

All events except those serving food are free.


If you go: Lehigh River Days

Where: Lehigh

When: June 16-18

Cost: Free, open to the public