A river runs through it

Lehigh River Days

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Brett Smith, chairman of the Lehigh River Days committee, shows off this year’s shirt which feaures a logo similar to the old clay works in Lehigh along with the colors of the former Lehigh High School. River Days is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

LEHIGH — It’s almost time to head to Lehigh and enjoy the annual River Days Celebration along the Des Moines River.

This year’s dates, for the 38th celebration, are Friday, Saturday and June 16.

River Days committee chairman Brett Smith grew up with the celebration. His parents, Danny and Sue Smith, organized the event for many years.

“I’ve been around it a bit,” he said.

There are several events being added to the celebration this year including a Miss and Mr. Riverdays pageant with a Talent Contest. It’s at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Ball Park.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Mya Porter, at left, of Badger, and her horse Cookie, watch the tail end of the 2017 Lehigh River Days Parade with her friend Hailey Tuel and her horse, Princess.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout,” Smith said. “We would like to get all ages involved.”

After the pageant and talent show, the band Section 7 will entertain.

“It’s the first time they’re playing here,” he said. “That will be good.”

The shirts for this year’s celebration are a homage to Lehigh’s history. The logo took its inspiration from a stamp used on tile products once produced there and the colors, gold and gray, were the Lehigh High School’s colors.

He said they’ve proven popular.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Ben Rentschler, of Callender, looks over some of the antiques available at the Lehigh River Days market in 2017.

“We had to order more,” he said.

The back features a list of sponsors.

Another new attraction at this year’s event includes a barbecue contest.

“It’s sponsored by the Lehigh Locker,” Smith said. “It’s a tasting contest.”

That part will happen at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday on the East Green.

“The People’s Choice is one of the awards,” he said.

Mud Volleyball is back this year. The popular event is just that, volleyball played in the mud.

“It’s normally a big event,” he said.

Expect to get dirty if you sign up to play, Smith has participated in the past.

“It took at least a couple of showers to get it all off,” he said. “It’s a good way to cool off though.”

Of course, no Lehigh River Days is complete without the annual parade. That’s scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Most events are free.

For more information, contact Smith at (515) 359-2252.

Lehigh River Days 2019


5 to 7 p.m. Food at the park shelter.

5 to 7 p.m. Lehigh Historic Museum open.

5:30 p.m. Miss and Mr. Riverdays pageant and talent show. Ball Park.

8 to 10 p.m. Section 7. Ball Park.


8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lehigh Historic Museum open.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Flea Market and Craft Sale. Main Street.

9 a.m. 3 on 3 basketball tourney. East Green.

10 a.m. Parade.

After parade: Pony rides, East Green. Kids games, Senior Center.

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 Local musicians playing Old Country. Downtown.

11 a.m. Train rides.

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Beef Burger Lunch. Senior Center.

Noon to 1 p.m. Bingo, East Green.

Noon Mud Volleyball, East Green.

2 to 5 p.m. Open house and sampling. Lehigh Locker.

5 to 7 p.m. Lehigh Fire Department Pork Supper. Senior Center.

8 to 12 p.m. RoadHard Band and street dance. Downtown.


8 a.m. Community Church Service. Ball Park.

9 a.m. Lehigh Lions pancake breakfast. Ball Park.

11 a.m. River Days raffle drawing. Ball Park.

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veteran’s Memorial Park Barbecue Contest. East Green.

1:30 p.m. Barbecue tasting. East Green.


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