GODAHL — The 68th annual Godahl Day celebration saw attendees brave the heat wave to enjoy a day of food, floats of the parade and root beer variety, and dance floor fun.
The festivities started at 10 a.m., with root beer floats cold, cheeseburgers hot, and bingo hot or cold depending on player’s luck. Entertainment began at 11 with local talent given an opportunity to show their voices on the main stage. Treasurer Scott Runge said one of the events unique to Godahl Day is Messy Bessy, which gifted a lucky winner $750 based off an unusual premise.
“We bring a calf from a local dairy farm,” he said. “It does its business on a [numbered] square [from 1-100] and we sell squares in a raffle to win $750 for a grand prize.”
Then at 12:30 p.m was the parade. Floats from across the area and folks looking to show off classic cars entered and drove through the town of Godahl. Parade committee member Karla Beck said the heat wave reduced the number of participants and attendees from previous years.
“It’s hot. It’s plain not good but you have no control over it. The parade and the number of participants was down. But that’s weather. Every time we have a hot Godahl Day, we don’t have as many people.”
In previous years, a kiddie parade would start before the main show. This year the opener was unable to proceed as there was only one entrant. The entrant was still able to participate in the parade, and Beck is committed to bringing this tradition back next year.
Even with the heat putting a damper on attendance, Beck was still happy with the event and enjoys what it brings to the small community of Godahl.
“It provides a place to be on Labor Day,” she said. A place to come the day before we go back to school. A place to come and be with your friends and community and one last fun day before summer is over. The parade is a good way to highlight our youth baseball and softball teams.”
After the parade was the coronation of the new Miss Godahl. Mykela Hanson, who was crowned last year, personally passed the honor on to Keeley Runge. Runge, a junior at St. James High School, said this is a day she has waited for a long time.
“It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was four years old coming to my first Godahl Day,” she said. It’s definitely an achievement. It’s surreal to be at this age already.”
Runge has worked at Godahl Day since she was first able to, first bussing tables and cleaning up trays and then working at the hamburger stand during rush hour after the parade. She credits this experience with instilling within her positive lifelong values.
“I’ve grown up around all of these people, and they’ve all shown me what qualities and work ethic it takes to succeed in life,” Keeley Runge said. “The people of Godahl are a community I know will always have my back, and a family I know will be rooting for me as I decide what path to take for my future. It has been a blessing to grow up with these people as my role models, and I hope to one day give back to them what they gave to me.”
The Nate Frederickson Band played classic and polka songs for the Godahl Day crowd from 1:30-4 p.m. A dance floor ensured couples could waltz with plenty of space and groove out with higher tempo songs. Scott Runge said having the band is a change they have made in recent years to appeal to a more youthful demographic.
“Nate’s a younger guy but he’s really into polka,” he said, “We’ve been getting Nate out here every year now for the past couple years to try and bring this group of people out.”
As the main fundraiser for the Godahl Rec board, Scott Runge said they are appreciative of all the support they receive to keep the small town thriving.
“This Godahl Day fundraiser provides us [the opportunity] to keep the heat in the rec center, electricity on the ball field, and Godahl continuing into the future,” he said.
For more information, visit the Godahl Recreation Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/people/Godahl-Recreation/100069451613971/ or contact the rec board at [email protected].