Manson Greater Crater Days

Greater Crater Days to feature skid loader rodeo, obstacle course

-Messenger photo illustration by Joe Sutter
Manson Greater Crater Days featured a mini-golf course in 2018, underneath the flag hung from Manson/Rockwell City’s newest fire truck, in this image made from multiple photos. Kids’ games and food stands were also going Saturday afternoon, along with a kids’ beauty pageant, a lawnmower ride, a softball tournament and a spelling bee.

MANSON — This year’s Manson Greater Crater Days celebration will see a number of new events that organizers hope visitors to the festival will enjoy.

Among the new events at Greater Crater Days, which goes from Friday through Sunday, is a skid loader rodeo.

Justin Widlund, president of the Manson Chamber of Commerce, said contestants will bring their own skid steer loaders and compete in different challenges.

It’s a chance for the operators to show how skilled they are.

“And for the crowd, it’s a spectator sport because you’re cheering on your favorite driver,” Widlund said.

-Messenger file photo
Jada Junkman tries to get her ball to go in at the Manson Fire Department’s entry into Greater Crater Days mini golf, while her brother, Dawson Amspoker, waits his turn. Businesses and groups from Manson provided the themed mini golf holes for the event.

The winner receives a cash prize.

Another new event is the obstacle course. Widlund said this is the first time Greater Crater Days has ever had an obstacle course.

“It’s themed as a ‘ninja’ obstacle course,” he said, adding that there are five age brackets, so anyone from children to adults can compete.

According to Widlund, the course is based on the popular TV show “American Ninja Warrior.”

There will also be another new event called soccer pool table.

-Messenger file photo
Cora Hulegaard, 4, brings back some of her candy during the Manson Greater Crater Days parade in 2018.

“Basically it’s like playing pool except you’re using grass and soccer balls,” he said. “A couple trucking companies in town are sponsoring that. They set up a couple pool tables. You can go one-on-one with your buddy and play pool with soccer balls.”

Besides the new events, Widlund said there are plenty of returning favorites. They include a slow pitch softball tournament, miniature golf, and plenty of food.

“You can’t have a festival without food,” Widlund said.

Additionally, since June 28 is the 40th anniversary of the Manson tornado, Widlund said there will be a slide show commemorating it in Floral Hall.

He’s looking forward to Greater Crater Days because there is something for everybody.

“I just like the overall busyness and how many things we got going on for the day,” he said. “And there’s a lot of good food.”



4 to 6 p.m. Free hamburgers and hot dogs at Heartland Bank. All welcome.

5 p.m. Gates open; 6 p.m. beer garden; 7 p.m. pull start (truck and semi)


10 a.m. Middleton Classic Golf Tournament

11 a.m. Grand Parade — Starts at Eighth Avenue and Main, goes north to stoplights then west on 10th Avenue to N65 and north to 12th Avenue, east to Main and ends at Fairgrounds. Register onsite and no cost. Bring lawn chairs for the whole day.

Noon Food Court — Several area non-profits are serving up a variety of great home town tastes. Also 4-H bake sale in afternoon.

Noon – 6 p.m. Manson Mini Golf -Businesses made their own mini-golf hole to challenge the abilities of both young and old. Also featuring a Bags throwing area.

Noon Art Show and Tornado Slide Show at Floral Hall

1 p.m. Kid’s Zone at shelter. Fun and games just for those under age 5.

1 p.m. Obstacle Course, located west of playground. No pre-registration needed. Sponsored by Manson Area Community Center.

1 p.m. Soccer Pool Table — Play pool with soccer balls. Sponsored by area trucking companies.

1 p.m. Co-ed Slow Pitch Softball Tournament. $50 entry/team, pre-registration forms at Manson State Bank or Heartland Bank.

1 p.m. Bicycle Rodeo. Registration at 12:30 p.m. Located at high school parking lot. Ages four to 16. Sponsored by Manson Police Department.

2 p.m. Lawn mower “fun run.” Begins at fairgrounds and goes around to area churches and the Good Samaritan Center. Will have an activity planned for riders at stops. Map provided and not cost.

2 p.m. Kid’s Water Fights — at fairgrounds. Kids to age 14. Contact Lonny Nimke for pre-registration, 712-210-0837.

2:30 p.m. Spelling Bee at the red school house. For kids to adults.

3 p.m. Skid loader Rodeo at pull area. Sponsored by R & J Material Handling.

6 p.m. Crash my Crater Concert with Riley Green & Travis Denning.

Sunday, June 30

10 a.m. Middleton Classic Golf Tournament

Noon Motorcycle and ATV Fun Run/Scavenger Hunt, Sign in at fairgrounds at 11am. Entry fees go to support the MACC cameras project.


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