Badgerfest is back and busy

BADGER – After a hiatus of more than 10 years, Badgerfest is back. Both visitors and residents were happy to welcome its return with a parade, games in the park, a flag-raising and lots of food.

The parade featured two of Badger’s oldest residents as parade marshals.

Roger Fevold, 87, has spent nearly his entire life in Badger. While he does admit to being born in nearby Vincent, he said he was moved to Badger as a infant.

Except for his time serving in World War II and Korea, it’s been home.

“Badger has always and will always be my home,” he said.

He fondly remembers the previous incarnation of Badgerfest. He got to be in a parade or two.

“Don’t ask me which year,” he said.

Fevold is not only happy to see it return, he’s optimistic about the future of the event.

“I hope it turns out good enough to do it again next year,” he said.

He shared parade duties with Mildred Vinsand, 94. She moved into her Badger home in 1948. She raised 12 children there with her husband, Charles Vinsand. He died in 1996.

Vinsand said she enjoyed riding in the parade and then getting to watch the remainder of it from a chair in front of the review stand.

Don Ashenfelter, a member of the Badger Fire Department, was on hand to drive one of the trucks in the parade and help with the flag-raising ceremony the department conducted at the fire station after the parade.

He’s glad the celebration is back too.

“Small towns need these,” he said. “It gets people back to their hometown.”

The Rev. Darryl Landsverk, of Badger, is pastor of the Badger Lutheran Church. He drove the vintage Oliver tractor pulling his congregation’s float in the parade. That church was also responsible for much of the food and games later in the park.

He wore a big smile too.

“I”m absolutely thrilled,” Landsverk said, looking over the sidewalks full of visitors. “Look at all these people.”

The event helps promote unity.

“The town always works together well,” Landsverk said, “This gives us a chance to play together.”

Of course, no parade is complete without the combination of tossed candy and children ready to pick it up.

Caitlin Croonquist, 9, of Moorland, was among those. It is in fact, her favorite part.

What’s her secret to maximizing her haul and filling the bag she brought along for the purpose?

“Get in and run fast,” she said.

Other events included a band in the evening and a car and bike show.