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Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Michels said more than 60 volunteers have been involved in planning this year’s Rum River Festival.

“The other organizations that help in include the city’s maintenance crews, and Princeton Public Utilities,” Michels said. “And don’t forget our fire and police departments. We would not be able to do anything without them.”

Michels recently provided a rundown of this year’s Rum River Festival schedule, and its new offerings.

“The ‘Rockin’ on the Rum River Series’ is a new component of this year’s festival,” Michels said.

This event will begin with a canoe and kayak run starting at10 a.m. in Riverside-Riebe Park in downtown Princeton.

The park is located on the wild and scenic Rum River State Water Trail. Canoes and Kayaks will be available for rent or bring your own.

Outfitters will provide support and 10 minute safety instruction to all participants. Participants will receive a T-shirt.

All participants must sign a waiver and attend a 10 minute safety meeting prior to entering the river. Life Jackets are required. Children 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult on the river.

“The bands that are associated with this event will be playing at street level and not in Riverside Park,” Michels said. Two Hicks and a Chick will perform from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the Tim Sigler Band from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the North Mall parking lot.

Procedures for the Lucky Duck Race and Raffle in Riverside Park that starts at 5:30 p.m. remain the same, Michels said.

“The raffle tickets are still $20. You can buy tickets at Bremer Bank in Princeton, Coborn’s in Princeton, First Bank & Trust in Princeton, Marv’s True Value, Minuteman Press in Princeton, the Princeton Area Chamber of, Commerce, Princeton Insurance Agency, and Sherburne State Bank”

As long as the Rum River remains within its banks, Michels said 1,000 yellow rubber ducks will be dropped from their traditional spot on the bridge.

“If the river is not within its banks, then we won’t be able to run them. We’ll just do the drawing. All of the rules are stated on the tickets. We have to protect our ducks.,” Michels said.

The first 10 ducks plucked from the river all receive a cash prize, with First Prize being $5,000.

Michels said the state-sanctioned Kids’ Peddle Tractor Pull in that South Mall Parking Lot that’s scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning is a festival favorite.

The event, which is sponsored by John Deere distributor Midwest Machinery Co.  Rum River Festival arts and crafts vendors will be located near the downtown clock tower, and staring at 11 a.m., be available to the public.

“Those vendors will be street-side this year, moving up from Riverside Park,” Michels said. “We are working hard to reestablish this event after getting hit hard with two years of bad weather.”

The Princeton Ambassadors Coronation will take place at New Life Church starting at 11 a.m.  This event involves a scholarship program that results in one to three ambassadors being crowned, Michels said.

“We’ve increased the young person component of this program, and during the last several years, we’ve crowned two Junior Ambassadors and two Little Miss Princeton’s,” Michels said.

Groups involved in this event are ages 8 and 9 for Little Miss and the Junior Ambassadors are ages of 10 and 16, Michles said.

Ambassadors are between the ages of 17 and 22. “Each Ambassador earns a scholarship of $700 once they have completed their year of reign.

That can be used for community college, technical college, or a four-year college. The purpose of this program is to prepare our young women for future careers.”

Rum River Festival participants were looking for something new will participate in the 10 a.m. Pickleball Tournament at the Princeton Middle School Tennis Courts.

This first-year event is being organized and run by Princeton Community Education, Michels said. Registration closed for the event on Monday.

Pickelball is paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels.

The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.

Basically, the sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.

The pickleball format includes round-robin pool play with most teams advancing to a single elimination bracket.

Pool games will be played to 11 points. Bracket games will be played to 15 points. Medal games will be two out of three to 11 points.

If the number of teams in a division or skill level doesn’t reach a suitable level for pool play, a simple round robin or double elimination format will be used instead.

The Rum River Festival parade that’s scheduled to start at 2 p.m. typically includes between 100 and 112 units, Michels said.

“We allow space for as many as 10 marching bands; this year, we currently have six bands that will be performing and will be judged,” she said.

Grand Marshals for this year’s parade are Charlie and Carol Ossell and their daughter, Kelly Ossell.

The Pork Shop Dinner will start serving at 4 p.m. in the North Mall Parking lot.  This event involves a partnership between the Princeton Rotary Club and Coborn’s, which will prepare all of the food.

Cost for the dinner if $5 and includes a pork chop and a side food item. A drink is not included in the meal cost.

“All of the proceeds from this event will go to the Princeton Rotary Club to support their efforts to get a handicap-accessible fishing pier built in Riverside Park,” Michels said.

The Kinship Tug-O-War on the Rum that scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. is entering its second year, Michels said.

“This event used to take place a long, long, time ago, and Kinship Youth Mentoring has brought this event back as a fundraiser.”

She added that teams can register through the Kinship website.

The eight-person teams must be coed with at least three female members and all members must be 18 years of age or older.

All teams must be pre-registered prior to the event. Visit kinshipprinceton.org.

The beer garden will be open and soft drinks available throughout the Pork Chop dinner and both performances, Michels said.

“The 5K route will be the same this year,” Michels said. “That event is being sponsored by First Bank & Trust in Princeton and Crystal Cabinets.

The volunteers that are doing this are from Princeton Health & Fitness Center, and a new business in town, Northern Nutrition. They will provide volunteers to help.”

The Medallion Hunt will start at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The first clue will be posted on the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce website and well as its Facebook page.

One clue will be announced every hour until 4 p.m. If no one has found the medallion by 5 p.m. Michels said that additional clues will be released.

“Typically, people have found the medallion within the first three hours of the event,” she said. “When they do find, it, they need to call or text me at (763) 355-4040.”

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