GUEST COLUMN • Old Settlers Returns This Sunday

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With Old Settlers coming up fast and furious, I wanted to explain a few things that you might find different at this year’s celebration.

The first thing that comes to mind is our vendors. Maybe that’s because I love junk food. But we won’t have as many vendors this year because with all of the summer celebrations cancelled last year, some just didn’t make it. 

Even though they might be smaller in number, there will still be lots of really great things to eat, and we hope you will come out to support our dedicated vendors.

One notable thing that will be missing this year is always a fan favorite. We were unable to book the Waterloo German Band for the Big Parade on Aug. 5, as several of their members were unable to be present on the dates of our celebration.

I’m not sure how many years that they have performed for us, but it is many and we will try to bring them back next year.

And speaking of bands, we don’t have as many high school bands this year in the Big Parade. Whether it is due to the COVID situation or just scheduling issues, we may only have one or two. But they will still add lots of fun to the parade route.

Our Little Miss and Junior Miss pageants, along with our new Little Mister pageant will be held downtown on the Old Settlers stage on Saturday night, July 31. When we started planning in May, we weren’t sure what the virus situation would be, and felt that an outside venue would be a safer pursuit.

The five young ladies running for the title of Miss Old Settlers 2021 will not have sponsors this year, and that was mostly a timing issue.

Our committee usually starts planning Old Settlers in January. This year, it was May before we even got permission to host Old Settlers. We are hoping to bring back our sponsors next year, as they are much appreciated and a big help to our candidates.

The Household Science exhibits, held on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 1, in the lower level of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on the Courthouse Square will be somewhat smaller this year, with less categories than usual. 

Old Settlers is fortunate to have some new volunteers this year, but some things will be different and some will be abbreviated to allow our new volunteers a chance to “get their feet wet.”

The ponytail and pigtail contests will be held, along with the turtle races and the pedal tractor pulls, but no baby crawling contest this year. We just couldn’t see having our precious “little” Old Settlers crawling across the floor when we are trying very hard to be as germ free as possible.

Many other things that are a part of Old Settlers will be the same, such as the Fun Run/Fun Walk, our community church service on Sunday at Beckemeyer School, both the Kiddie Parade on Thursday morning and the Big Parade on Thursday evening, and lots of fun things in between!

But most of all, the camaraderie of our wonderful community and those surrounding Hillsboro will be there.

Thanks for always supporting us. Please do so again this year. And we can always use more workers and volunteers.

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