Games are abundant at the Columbia Heights Jamboree.

Annual event to highlight parade, fireworks, carnival and much more

Since 1934, the city-wide Jamboree celebration in Columbia Heights has highlighted “local excellence, achievement and talent,” according to the Lions Club’s website.

The 2019 edition will do so again.

This year’s event kicks off Thursday, June 26, with the start of the annual medallion hunt, and will continue through Sunday, June 30, offering everything from arts and crafts shows, a community picnic, bean bag tournament, 5K run/walk, a peace fest, parade, fireworks, softball tournament and much more.

Sponsored once again by the Columbia Heights Lions Club, the Jamboree began on Saturday, Sept. 29, 1934, as the inaugural Heights Jubilee Program to celebrate the paving and opening of Central Avenue.

According to Marlaine Szurek’s history of the event, “the Jubilee featured children’s programs at the High School athletic field on 41st Avenue. There was a parade featuring school children, the fire department, and floats that moved down Central Avenue to 37th and returned. There were also races planned for the children, which climaxed with a blueberry pie-eating contest.”

The event that became today’s Jamboree has had a long and varied history.

According to Szurek’s history, the Jubilee moved to late August in 1935, but retained its community focus with addresses from the political heavyweights of the era, ball games, sports programs, a water fight between the fire departments from Robbinsdale and Columbia Heights, as well as talent competitions.

Because of World War II, the Jubilee celebrations between 1939 and 1945 were canceled.

By 1946 the event was moved to July, though in 1948 it was held in June in conjunction with the city’s 50th anniversary celebration.

The Columbia Heights Activities Committee took control of the event in 1950 and kicked off the inaugural Jamboree.

According to Szurek, “During the period of 1950 to 1974, while the Activities Committee runs the Jamboree, Pat Olynyk was the Queen Chairman. She did everything.”

But more changes came about in 1974, when the activities committee was disbanded and the Lions Club began sponsoring the Jamboree. All of the community-focused events of the past were retained and the Lions Club continues to sponsor the city’s main summer event to this very day.

The following are the events as scheduled for this year’s celebration”


Judges at last year's Heights Idol.

Wednesday, June 26

- Tasty Pizza Medallion Hunt

The hunt begins June 26, and continues through the weekend until a winner is announced.

The clues are posted daily at Tasty Pizza and on their Facebook page from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with the big payout being a $1,000 cash prize.

For more information, call Todd at 763-571-2722, or email

Thursday, June 27

The 2019 Community Picnic and Art & Craft Fair is June 27, 4:30-7 p.m.

The City of Columbia Heights’ annual Community Picnic returns and will be held once again at Huset Park West. New this year, the picnic will feature an arts and craft fair inside nearby Murzyn Hall. Attendees will be able to walk back and forth to each event, and the Jamboree Carnival will be opening at the other side of the park that evening, so residents can make a day out of visiting Huset Park.

The 3rd annual community picnic will feature 25 informational booths with officials from city and community organizations. The booths will be located around the Huset Park Splash Pad, which will be operating.

In addition to the picnic, face painting will be provided for free near the splash pad and a mariachi band will provide music between 5 and 6 p.m.

From 6-7:30 p.m., an educational fishing clinic will provide hands-on fishing lessons for free - but registration is required.

The Art & Craft Fair activities (inside Murzyn Hall) will feature local vendors. In addition, Top Valu Liquor will be providing free wine samples inside Murzyn Hall and the Lions Club will be selling beer.

As an added bonus, El Taco Loco will provide 300 free tacos (first-come, first served), while HeightsNEXT will be dishing up free ice cream.

The arts and crafts and community picnic is being sponsored by the City of Columbia Heights.

For more information about this part of the Jamboree, email


The parade is one of the highlights of Columbia Heights' Jamboree.

Friday, June 28

Annual parade

The annual Jamboree Parade will be held 6-8 p.m., Friday, June 28, at 45th Avenue, Central Avenue, and 40th Avenue.

The Parade begins at 45th Avenue and Central and proceeds south on Central Avenue to 40th Avenue going west and ending at 5th Street. Admission is free for spectators, but everyone should keep careful attention to the children during the parade.

For more information about the parade, call Lion Sean at 612-599-6784, or email


The carnival is one of the big draws at Columbia Heights' Jamboree.

Saturday, June 28

5K run/walk

The Boosters Heights Hustle 5K run/walk will be held Saturday, June 29, at the Columbia Height High School track, starting at 7:30 a.m. and continuing until 9:30 a.m.

Register at (online registration is preferred), or for more information, call 763-706-3743.

Car show

The Columbia Heights Lions Car Show, will be held Saturday, June 29, with registration at 4 p.m.

The show and judging will take place from 5-9 p.m.

For more details and registration, call John Murzyn at 612-799-4570.


One of the highlights of any community event is the fireworks, and the Jamboree is no different.

This year’s fireworks will once again be held at Huset Park West starting at dusk Saturday, June 29.

If the fireworks are rained out Saturday, fireworks will be at dusk on Sunday, June 30.

For more information about the fireworks, call the Lions Club at 612-760-4463, or email

Peace Fest

The Peace Fest will be held Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 41st and Van Buren Street NE.

Other events

Annual bean bag tournament

The 3rd annual bean bag tournament, which will be located at the beer garden, will be held Thursday, June 27, and Saturday, June 29.

Some of the details are as follows:

-Tournament is located at the beer garden;

-Hours are Thursday, 7 p.m., and Saturday, noon-4;

-Carnival admission required ($2);

-$20 entry per team;

-Trophies will be awarded to first- through third-place teams, along with cash prizes (1st - $100, 2nd - $50, 3rd - $25); and

- To sign up for the tournament, visit

For more information, call Lion Joe at 763-442-8905.

Lions beer garden

The Columbia Heights Lions Beer Garden will be open for business Thursday, June 27, through Sunday, June 30, at Huset Park.

Hours are:

- Thursday, June 27, 5 p.m-1 a.m.;

- Friday, June 28, 3 p.m.-1 a.m.;

- Saturday, June 29, 1 p.m.-1 a.m.; and

- Sunday, June 30, 1-6 p.m.

The carnival

The Columbia Heights Jamboree Carnival will open Thursday, June 27 and continue through Sunday, June 30. The carnival will be located on Jefferson Street at Huset Park.

Hours for the carnival are as follows:

- Thursday, June 27, 5-11 p.m.;

- Friday, June 28, 3 p.m. to midnight;

- Saturday, June 29, 1 p.m. to midnight; and

- Sunday, June 30, 1-6 p.m.

The carnival grounds will be fenced off with admission for adults at $2; children 12 and under are free with a guardian. Same-day entry wristbands are provided at the north and south entry points. Please note: No bikes, dogs or skateboards will be allowed in the carnival.


Softball games and a home run contest are on the docket during the last two days of Columbia Heights' Jamboree.

Softball tourney and home run derby

The softball tournament and home run derby will be held Saturday, June 29 through Sunday, June 30, at Huset Park East.

For more information about this event, call Keith at 763-706-3732.

Sunday, June 30


Bingo will be held 12:30-3 p.m., Sunday, June 30, at Murzyn Hall.

Bingo packets will be available for sale at 11:45 a.m., with food items and drinks available during the games.

For more information about bingo, call contact the Lions Club at 612-760-4463, or email

Dad’s Belgian waffle breakfast

Dad’s Belgian waffle breakfast will be held 9 a.m. to noon, Sunday, June 30, at Murzyn Hall.

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