‘Bug’ doings in a small town

Bug races, the Icelandic immigration experience and an ‘American Idol’ contestant will be part of Boxelder Bug Days

It’s time once again to pay tribute to that black bug with the red trim — the boxelder bug. Minneota Boxelder Bug Days start today and run through Sunday. The Minneota festival celebrates boxelder bugs, but more to the point, one of its more well-known residents, author, musician and professor, the late Bill Holm, who wrote a book called “Boxelder Bug Variations.”

Minneota’s annual Town and Country Days festival was renamed Boxelder Bug Days complete with boxelder bug races, which this year take place at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on the small stage.

Besides the bug races, other highlights of the festival include “Sails, Rails, Rivers and Trails: A Journey West” presentation by Cathy Josephson will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Minneota Manor. She will present again at 4:30 p.m. at the library.

Josephson lives in Iceland and is the daughter of longtime festival promoter, the late Frank Josephson, and the cousin of current festival committee member Scott Josephson.

“She will give a presentation on the Icelandic immigration to America,” said Scott Josephson. “It applies to Scandinavians in general because they took the same route.”

Music lovers will want to see Kaila Dakota, who, as Kaila Tingle, was an “American Idol” golden ticket winner in 2014. The South Dakota native will sing with the band, Avenger Joe, after flying in from Nashville, Josephson said.

Another highlight is the adult water fights fundraiser, which is at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Minneota pool.

“It’s a fundraiser for the Minneota pool,” said Josephson. The event is sponsored by EDF Renewables, a renewable energy company. “They gave a significant donation.”

Tonight’s activities start at 7 p.m. with the Lakeview vs. Minneota Vikings football at K.P. Kompelien Field followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

“We haven’t had fireworks in awhile,” said Josephson.

A dance will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight on the main stage featuring Outlaw Entertainment.

On Saturday morning chili cooks will start preparing their dishes to compete in the 22nd annual Johnny Tillemans Memorial Chili Cook-Off at Veterans Park. Register at boxelderbugdays.com.

The 5K/10K run/walk and kiddie run registration is from 7:45-8:15 a.m. Dollars for Scholars snow cones will be sold from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Boxelder Bug Square. The FFA Petting Zoo will be open from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Veterans Park. The craft vendor sale is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Veterans Park West Lot. The Friends of the Library will have a $6 sale from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Minneota Public Library, the former Big Store on main street. The Bloody Mary bar is open for business from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at City Hall Bar & Grill. The Vietnam Memorial & History Center is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kiddie parade registration is at 10:30 a.m. for a $1 donation for the Minneota School Backpack program. The kiddie parade is at 11 a.m. Chili Cook-Off Tasting is at 11:30 a.m. at Veterans Park. Inflatables are from noon-6 p.m. on Jefferson Street. Wristbands are required. From noon-4 p.m. educational exhibits are open at the library. The PTA dunk tank is from 1-3 p.m. in front of Fit24 on Jefferson Street. The Minneota Barrel Race Series is at 1 p.m. at the Silver Spur Arena. Route 68 Big Band takes the Main Stage at 1:30 p.m. followed by Two Hicks and a Chick at 2:30 p.m., Kayla Daniels at 3:30 p.m. and On the Run at 4:30 p.m. Two Hicks and a Chick will perform again at 5:30 p.m. followed by Kayla Daniels at 6:30 p.m. A street dance featuring Avenger Joe will be from 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. on the Main Stage.

Sunday will see a firemen’s pancake breakfast from 8-11 a.m. at the Fire Hall. Community worship Service is at 10 a.m. An all school reunion for St. Edward is from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the school. Two Hicks and a Chick perform at 11 a.m. on the Main Stage. The grand parade is at 1 p.m.