Algona prepares to honor Asa and Ambrose Call

ALGONA – Algona is preparing to celebrate its founding fathers July 10-13. The 15th annual Founders’ Day celebration will be filled with history, barbecued ribs, large inflatable toys, music and fun for both kids and adults.

“What we’re trying to do is honor the heritage of our founding fathers, Asa and Ambrose Call,” Algona Mayor Lynn Kueck said.

The festival starts Thursday night with the Riverview Cemetery Walk at 6:30 p.m. Actors and actresses will dress as the founding fathers and mothers of Algona.

“We’re bringing people back alive, so to speak,” Kueck said.

Those attending should bring their own lawn chairs since seating is not provided.

Friday is filled with events from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.

“Friday is the biggest day,” Kueck said.

Kueck will give a tour of the Wildhaven Campus nature area at 1 p.m. He will talk about how Algona’s founders got to Iowa and how they founded the city.

Kueck has diaries written by the Call brothers that he will share.

“I can read from the diaries and quote from those two gentlemen,” he said.

This year there is a twist to the tour though. Kueck will focus on the heritage of the Sioux Indians in the Algona area.

Throughout the day there will be free movies for kids to watch at State 5 Theatre.

“The movies will entertain the kids while you’re doing your own thing,” Kueck said. “They offer things for the kids to do while being looked after by an adult.”

Also for the kids will be a duck pond from 4 to 6 p.m., free kiddie train rides at 5:30 p.m. and inflatable toys throughout the festival.

“It’s all the stuff kids would just love to do,” Keuck said. “We’re able to offer that for free because of our sponsors. That’s just a blessing.”

In addition to the kid events, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy.

At 5:15 p.m. is the BBQ Showdown.

Barbecuers from across Iowa will be competing for a $1,000 prize.

“When you got a $1,000 prize, you’re going to attract a lot of people,” Kueck said.

They will be cooking ribs, pork loins and more.

Locals who attend the festival can pay $5 to walk around and sample all the contestants’ food. It’s $3 for kids 10 years old and younger

“You’re basically getting your evening meal,” Kueck said.

After the barbecue is the street dance at 8:30 p.m. and the Johnny Holm Band will be performing.

“They are good,” Kueck said. “You can ask anyone; they will know this band and tell you how good they are.”

During the street dance will be a beer garden as well.

The next day is Algona’s Ridiculous Day.

All the businesses downtown will set up shop outside to take advantage of the crowds.

“It’s a good way for local retailers to show what they have in their store,” Kueck said. “We have tons of people coming back and going to class reunion events.”

Usually Algona class reunions are set for this weekend because of the celebration, he said.

There will be another hiking tour with Kueck at 10 a.m. for anyone who missed it Friday.

Starting at 1 p.m. will be the historical scavenger hunt at the Kossuth County Historical Museum.

Saturday night will end with the Fallback Band, which will play music from the 1950s through current times. There’s a $2 cover for the band which plays from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

On Sunday, those who attend the Showboat Open Golf Tournament at River Road Golf Club will have a chance to win $200 if they get a hole-in-one. The tournament starts at 8 a.m.

For tee times, call 295-7351.

The celebration will end with a repeat performance of the Riverview Cemetery Walk.

This performance will be inside the Masonic Temple for those who were unable to attend the walk Thursday.

“We’re trying to help people who aren’t mobile enough to walk the cemetery walk,” Kurku said.

The celebration is a joint effort by the city and the Chamber of Commerce.