Rock Rapids, Iowa — It started in 1981 in Rock Rapids as a two-day festival. Activities in Island Park included horseshoe pitching, canoe races, and a flea market. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Rock Rapids’ Heritage Days.
Sometimes celebrities are even on-hand for the event. In the early years, country music star Charly McClain gave a concert under a tent in Island Park. One year in the more recent past, Jerry Mathers, who played Beaver Cleaver on the TV show “Leave It To Beaver,” came back to Rock Rapids — where his parents lived when he was born — for Heritage Days.
This year, Rock Rapids Chamber Director Angie Jager says there is a full slate of activities again, after the pandemic caused last year’s festival to be canceled.
An activity that started in the early years and has come and gone over the forty years is back this year — a medallion hunt. That will be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week.
Just a sampling of the activities — The Miss Rock Rapids and Little Miss Rock Rapids contest is on Thursday.
Friday’s activities include, but are not limited to: a Dad’s Belgian Waffle Breakfast, a Revue of Broadway music and a kids’ play by the River Valley Players, races at Rapid Speedway, and a cruise night.
Saturday is the big day. Just a few of the included activities — a 5K, 10K and one-mile fun run, with a kids division, a parade, pedal car races, a show-and-shine car show, inflatables, mini-train rides, and more for the kids, water wars, both for firefighters and kids, figure-8 races, and a street dance.
On Sunday there will be a community church service at Island Park, a Soap Box Derby, and more.