Between a slate of carnival events, long-standing traditions like the parade and corn-eating contest and appearances from musical acts like Arch Allies, organizers are anticipating this year will be one of the biggest Giant Days weekends ever.
“With Arch Allies being our event on Saturday and having a carnival, I believe we will have the biggest Giant Days we’ve had in many, many years, as long as the weather holds up,” said organizer Jamie Erickson.
Giant Days is forgoing the regular kickoff event this year and launching on Thursday, Aug. 4 with the teen dance from 8-11 p.m. Like the rest of the Giant Days events, the dance will be held at American Legion Park.
Marv and Kate open the main Giant Days event at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 on the Cambria stage. The Minn-E-Rods Tractor Pull follows at 6 p.m. Midwestern country band Hitchville will be performing on the Agropur stage with a concert starting at 8 p.m.
Throughout, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Giant Days Committee is bringing back the hotly anticipated carnival. Last year, Giant Days’ hosted their first carnival in over a decade, consisting of classic amusement park rides, carnival games and food. The event’s popularity drove the Giant Days Committee to bring back the carnival, albeit with a different company bringing the attractions.
J&K Amusements was contracted by Giant Days and offers rides like a giant slide, sizzler, tornado, rock-o-plane, carousel and more. Including the fair food offered by J&K Amusements, Erickson estimated Giant Days will feature around 10 separate vendor options for meals.
Throughout Friday and Saturday, the Le Sueur Community Center is hosting the annual Giant Day’s men’s softball tournament at Jo Eagle Anderson Park. The winning team has a chance to win $425 in the tournament.
On Saturday, Aug. 6, the first full day of events launches with a half-mile sprout route for young kids at 8 a.m and a 5k fun run at 8:30 a.m.
The day continues at 10:15 a.m. with a show by the St. Anne’s Dance Club. The live entertainment continues on with the sorcery of the Magic Brodini at 11 a.m.. the Larry Olsen Polka Band at noon and the Mariachi Jalisco band from 2 to 3 p.m.
The Larry Olsen Polka Band kicks off an all-day concert series starting at noon on the Cambria stage. A wide variety of genres will be on display as a mariachi band follows up the polka act from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Giant Days will feature a performance by Forrest and Josh at 3 p.m. followed by country band GTX from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and local singer-songwriters Jared Graff and Lukas Graff from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The headlining act, 80’s classic rock tribute band Arch Allies is set to perform from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
There are plenty of activities in store outside of musical entertainment. A treasure dive for kids of all ages will be held at the swimming pool around noon. Classic Car Roll-In and Crafts in the Park will be featured from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively and Bingo in the Park runs from noon to 4 p.m.
Saturday ends with a bang with a fireworks show that launches at dusk.
On Sunday, the Giant Days parade starts at 1 p.m., running from Fourth and Turril, taking a right and going north toward Ferry and finally taking a right on Ferry toward Le Sueur-Henderson Middle School/High School. The parade is followed by a battle of the bands in American Legion Park.
This year, the parade will feature five Grand Marshals: Richard Chilman, Gail Wentzlaff, William Ingersoll, Julie Boyland and Linda Lynch Scheible. All five are retiring Giant Days Committee members with over 100 years of experience between them putting on the annual festival for the community.
“They spent many, many years and many, many hours ensuring our event ran successfully,” said Erickson. “We thought that they deserved some recognition as Grand Marshals.”
In celebration of all things corn, Giant Days is hosting a Giant Corn Feed at 3 p.m. and a corn eating contest at 4:30 p.m. To register for the all-you-can-eat corn feed, participants must purchase a Giant Days button
Those who get a Giant Days raffle ticket at Radermacher’s may have a chance to win a selection of prizes during the 5 p.m. drawing including a 90 second shopping spree at Radermacher’s in Le Sueur, $500 gift card to Wise Furniture, $500 gas card to Holiday, three oil changes at Wolf Motors, $1,000 cash and two $250 prizes.
“Our town has been getting super excited. We have a lot of stuff,” said Erickson. “None of this would be possible without our sponsors. It truly is the community coming together to make sure our Giant Days happens.”