After 25 years Bowlus Fun Day continues to delight people of all ages

By Liz Verley, Staff Writer 

Bowlus, population 238, is often described as a quiet town located just off County Road 26, five miles west of Royalton. It is also the only town which is located next to the Soo Line Trail which welcomes bikers, walkers and rollerbladers in the summer and snowmobilers in the winter.

Sunday, July 1, the population will swell to more than 1,000 when the city celebrates  its annual Bowlus Fun Day. For more than 25 years the celebration has been held on the first Sunday in July.

Each year hundreds and hundreds of people travel to Bowlus for its annual city celebration. Last year, the Bowlus Legion honored the memory of those who have served America during many conflicts with special note to it being 70 years since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Pictured above on the Legion float are front row (from left): Adam Hoffman, Brandon Voges and Matt Pantzke. Second row: Marvin Klimek and Sylvester Czech. Back row: Ernest Skwira, Alois Fussy (trumpet), Ted Skwira and Angela Trettel. After the parade, folks headed to the city park for food and activities.

The event is sponsored this year by the Bowlus Fire and Rescue and Bowlus First Response teams to help fund a building addition to the present fire hall to house the first response vehicles and equipment. Presently the equipment is in two different locations which delays emergency response time.

Coordinators of the day are Mike Scholz, Bowlus fire chief and Arnie (Punky) Benusa, public information officer for the Fire Department.

Both men agree that Bowlus Fun Day is one of the best small town celebrations in Morrison County.

All the stands and activities are conducted by members of both teams along with help from community members and their families. No outside vendors are hired.

Benusa said, “We try to follow the tradition which started over 25 years ago. It’s a full day. Starting with the 5K run, the day continues with the polka Mass, parade, food booth (with hand-pressed fresh hamburgers), kids and adult games, fire pit sweet corn, train and horse rides, pedal tractor pull, fire department water fights with local cities, grand raffle, continuous music and dancing both afternoon and evening, and ends with a great fireworks display at dusk.”

The schedule for the celebration has the 5K fun walk/run beginning at the city park at 8:30 a.m. followed by the 1K walk/run, An outdoor polka Mass begins at 10 a.m. on the St. Stanislaus Church grounds with music by Gene Retka and the Jambolaires.

At 11:15 a.m. the parade will begin its journey down Main Street. From noon to midnight activities, rides and games for all ages will be held in the Bowlus City Park. There will be 12 hours of continuous music, dancing, food and fun.

Gene Retka and the Jambolaires, featuring  Kid Polka, will provide music at the park from 12:30 p.m. – 4 p. m. Loss 4 Words will start at 7 p.m. and continue playing everything from Garth Brooks to Lady Gaga, until 11 p.m.

The pedal tractor pull begins at 1 p.m., water fights with area fire departments at 2:30 p.m., the grand raffle drawing at 9 p.m. and a fireworks display at dusk.

Benusa said, “This all takes place in downtown Bowlus in 16 hours on Sunday, July 1. We hope people will come out and enjoy a day of fun and excitement.”

More information can be found at