Heritage Days 2021 in Atkinson

Claudia Loucks
Blake Haverback, left, Dan Chapman, members of the Atkinson Bolders Rolle Bolle Club, invite area players to join them at the upcoming tournament to be held in conjunction with the annual Heritage Days celebration Aug. 27-28.

This year’s annual Atkinson Heritage Days event will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Atkinson Bolders Rolle Bolle Club, to be highlighted during the festivities on Friday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Aug. 28.

Fun for all ages is planned at the 39th annual event on Friday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Aug. 28, in the village, about 30 miles east of the Quad Cities.

The event was not held in 2020 due to guidelines in place from the pandemic.

Residents take a step back in time to pay tribute to their roots each year during the two-day celebration in Atkinson, as many of the activities are reminiscent of days gone by.

The rolle bolle tournament is a highlight each year of the celebration and this year’s event will mark the 100th anniversary of the group. Teams will be mixed, with men, women and children on teams.

The club was organized in 1921 and has been active for 100 years, according to information received from Janis Smith, committee co-chairman with Jeff Roman, of Heritage Days.

The Bolders Club has 80 members, including men, women and children and members play year-round, on indoor courts in winter months, and also take part in tournaments in the Midwest much of the year.

Officers of the club are Randy Manthe, president; Gerald Roman, vice president; Dan Chapman, secretary; and Blake Haverback, treasurer.

Members encourage visitors to Heritage Days to come to the tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, to learn more about the sport, and Chapman said, “Those that have played before, even if it has been years ago, are asked to grab their rolle bolle and join them.”

Smith said, “We try to bring back the old times and introduce our Belgian heritage to a new generation.”

Another special feature of the weekend will be the Car Show which showcased 100 “treasured vehicles,” two years ago and committee members are hoping for more to be displayed at the 2021 celebration. This year the car show will be held on Saturday, Aug. 28, “rain or shine,” in the downtown area.

Jenny Pettit, chairman of the show which includes antique cars and street rods, said, all makes, models and years are welcome.

Entry fee is $10 and registration is from 8 to 11 a.m. on Aug. 28, with judging to be held. Awards will be presented and include 30 trophies.

For more information about the car show, contact Pettit at 309-428-1641.

For three years Heritage Day(s) was a one-day celebration, but six years ago returned to the original to two days. Heritage Days previously was sponsored by the Atkinson Heritage Society.

The Heritage Society no longer exists, and Smith said, “We want to continue with our celebration and we have a committee of volunteers in place that are willing to keep the event going.”

“The mission of the celebration is to advance the civic, commercial, educational, recreational, and general interest of our village and the prosperity of the community as a whole,” she said. “Above all, the Heritage Days activities celebrate small town life, and always are in the fall, to celebrate the agricultural heritage of the village.”

Food will be available during the celebration at Atkinson restaurants and on Aug. 28 in the park sandwiches and drinks will be served by the Rebuilding Together Henry County; pie and ice cream will be served by St. Anthony’s Church. Food vendors will be located near the park.

For more information about the event, call Jeff Roman, 309-936-7353 and additional information is available on face book: Village of Atkinson or Atkinson Heritage Days.

All activities are in Veterans Park unless otherwise noted:

Friday, Aug. 27:

-4 to 6 p.m. – Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run race packet pickup at the park – http://www.jordanrahnforeveryoungrun.org

-4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Community Supper – park shelter.

-6:30 p.m. – Little Miss Flame Pageant. Celebrating 25 years this year, the pageant started in 1995, and the 1995 winner was Kala (Causemaker) Ingardona. Little Miss Flame contestants must live in the Atkinson Fire Protection District and be between 5-8 years of age.

-Dusk –Movie in the park – take lawn chairs, blankets and snacks.

In the event of inclement weather, the Little Miss Flame Pageant and the movie will be held in the former high school gym.

Saturday, Aug. 28:

-8 a.m. – Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run 5K/1Mile Runs.

-8 a.m. – 3 p.m. – vendors in the park.

-9 a.m. to 12 noon – face painting – Whimsy Pixie Paint.

-9 a.m. - 12 noon – Music in the park by “Jef Spradley Duo.”

-8 a.m. to 2 p.m. –inflatables for children.

-10 a.m. to noon – kid’s carnival.

-8 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Tractor Show – preregister for drawings for toys by contacting John and Diane Lawrence, 309-945-5503.

-8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Car Show in downtown.

-11 a.m. – free yoga sponsored by Inspired Life.

-11 a.m. – sign-up for Atkinson Firemen’s Parade at the Fire Station, at the corner of U.S. Route 6 and State St.

-11 a.m. – 4 p.m. –Miller’s Petting Zoo.

-12 p.m. – kid’s tractor pull limited to through age 12, sign up prior to the event at southeast corner of park.

- 2 p.m. – Firemen’s Parade.

-2:30 p.m. – registration deadline for Bean Bags Tournament - $20 per team – cash prizes for first, second and third place winners.

-3 p.m. – Atkinson Women’s Organization Pie Auction - all entries in by 11 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church Hall, Main St.

-3 p.m. – Bean Bags Tournament across from park shelter on Center St.

-4 p.m. – cash Bingo games in downtown.

-6:30 p.m. – Rolle Bolle Tournament – Exchange St. courts.

-7 – 11 p.m. – street dance downtown featuring “Jera and the Absoluts.”