Atkinson's Heritage Days ready to roll this weekend

Claudia Loucks
For the Geneseo Republic

This year’s annual Atkinson Heritage Days event will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the United Bolders Club of Western Illinois of which the Atkinson Bolders Rolle Bolle Club is a member. A rolle bolle tournament, at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, will highlight the Heritage Days festivities which will be Friday, Aug. 26, and continue on Saturday, Aug. 27, and Sunday, Aug. 28.

Fun for all ages is planned at the 40th annual event in Atkinson, located about 30 miles east of the Quad Cities.

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

The rolle bolle tournament is a highlight each year. Teams will be mixed, with men, women and children on teams.

The United Bolders Club of Western Illinois was organized in 1922 and has been active for 100 years, according to information received from Janis Smith, committee co-chairman with Jeff Roman, of Heritage Days.

The Western League includes 11 mean’s clubs, and nine women’s’ clubs, located in surrounding areas.

The Atkinson Bolders Club includes 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. Members encourage visitors to Heritage Days to come to the tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, to learn more about the sport.

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

New this year will be representatives of the Atkinson Public Library serving Belgian Waffles on Saturday, Aug. 27, in the Atkinson Town Hall.

Another special feature of the weekend will be the Car Show which showcases “treasured vehicles.” This year the car show will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, “rain or shine,” in the downtown area.

Kip and Trudy Sleaford are co-chairmen of the show which includes antique cars and street rods, and all makes, models and years are welcome.

Early entry fee is $15 and entry fee on the day of the show, Aug. 27, will be $20. Judging will be held and trophies will be awarded in the 17 categories. ,

For more information about the car show, contact the Sleaford couple at 309-936-1323.

For three years Heritage Days was a one-day celebration, but seven years ago returned to the original to two days. This year the celebration will continue for three 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 pie and ice cream will be served by St. Anthony’s Church on Saturday, Aug. 27, in Veterans Park. Food vendors also 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. 26:

  • 4 to 6 p.m. – Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run race packet pickup at the park –
  • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Community Supper – park shelter.
  • 6:30 p.m. – Little Miss Flame Pageant. Little Miss Flame contestants must live in the Atkinson Fire Protection District and be between 5-8 years of age.
  • In the event of inclement weather, the Little Miss Flame Pageant will be held in the former high school gym.
  • Dusk – Fireworks behind the former Atkinson Grade School.

Saturday, Aug. 27:

  • 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.”
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. –inflatables for children.
  • 10 a.m. to noon – kid’s carnival.
  • 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Tractor Show – preregister for drawings for toys by contacting John and Diane Lawrence, 309-945-5503.
  • 11 a.m. – free yoga sponsored by Inspired Life.
  • 10 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.
  • 11 a.m. – kid’s tractor pull limited to through age 12, sign up prior to the event at southeast corner of park.
  • 1 p.m. – Firemen’s Parade.
  • 2:45 p.m. – registration deadline for Bean Bags Tournament - $20 per team – cash prizes for first, second and third place winners.
  • 2 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. to 6 p.m. – Car Show in downtown.
  • 3 p.m. – Bean Bags Tournament across from park shelter on Center St.
  • 6:30 p.m. – Rolle Bolle Tournament – Exchange St. courts.
  • 7 – 11 p.m. – street dance downtown featuring “The Atomic Blender.”

Sunday, Aug. 28:

9 a.m. – Men’s Softball Tournament, double elimination, $150 per team entry fee by contacting Mike Davis at 309-507-0170.