Famous barbecued chicken, live music, midway part of the fun for more than 50 years
By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
The Swanville Lions Club is hosting the 51st Swanville Midsummer Carnival, and organizers say it’s ‘The granddaddy of Central Minnesota’s festivals,” featuring, food, fun and camaraderie.
Although typically held the first weekend after the Fourth of July holiday, this year, the carnival will draw folks from far and near to Swanville Friday – Sunday, June 28 – 30.
The festivities begin Friday at 5 p.m. when the Swanville Lions begin serving their famous barbecued chicken (served all weekend). So, too, “Myro The King” plays deejay during happy hour from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Lions beverage garden. The midway opens at 6 p.m.
In addition to the chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, homemade pies, malted milk served by the American Dairy Association and a beverage garden will be available.
The bingo hall opens at 7 p.m., and a dance with live music by “Loss 4 Words” begins at 8:30 p.m.
Jay Loven is again sponsoring a “Ride for the Cure” motorcycle rally. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at Loven’s Auto Center, with the 100-mile ride starting at noon. All proceeds go to cancer research.
The midway opens at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 29 and bingo and chicken barbecue will be offered all afternoon.
That evening, everyone is invited to dance to live music by “The Fabulous Armadillos” beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Swanville Lion Royal Loven said he’s been booking the bands for the event for 42 years — and usually he hears a band play before he books them.
Last year, however, he booked “The Fabulous Armadillos” without having heard them and was so glad he did.
“They are so far above everyone else,” he said. “The crowd they brought in far surpassed anything we paid and we brought them back.
“If you want to hear a good, good band, wow, this group is something else,” he said. “It’s not your typical four – five piece rock band, but 10 pieces, playing music from the 1950s to the 1990s — and they play it perfectly,” said Loven.
The last day of the carnival, Sunday, June 30, begins with a joint nondenominational community worship service at 9 a.m. at the Swanville Park pavilion.
The parade begins at 11:30 a.m., with the opening of the midway at noon. Bingo will again be offered starting at 1 p.m. For those who like to dance, or just to listen, live music performed by “Wee Willie” will feature old time tunes at 1 p.m. Live music by “The Honkytonk Healers,” begins at 6 p.m.
Free camping is available just three blocks from the carnival for out-of-towners who want to spend the weekend. Call (320) 360-5614 for information.
Duane Johnson, a member of the Swanville Lions for 34 years, 26 as its secretary, said the Lions are a good group.
“This is the 51st annual carnival and it brings good money into the Swanville area,” he said. “A lot of people schedule their family reunions and vacations around this event. We want everyone to come to Swanville.”
For information regarding the Carnival, call (320) 547-2465.