Fridley 49er Days festival is back with pride

The annual Fridley 49er Days festival is back for another year of fun in the sun.

This year’s festival will be Saturday, June 17, at Commons Park in central Fridley, 555 61st Ave. N.E., immediately after the Fridley Lions parade. Although the celebration has been condensed to just one day, it is promised to be jam-packed with exciting events, music, food and entertainment.

The Timberwolves Action Pack gives young spectators high fives during the June 16 Fridley 49er Days parade. (Sun Focus photo by Sam Lenhart)

This year’s theme, Community Pride, will honor the community’s veterans, police officers and firefighters.

“We have a special program dedicated to recognizing our war veterans, our current soldiers, firefighters and police officers for their service to us,” said acting 49er Days president Sue Johnson. “It is very patriotic this year.”

The Brat Pack Radio, a popular ‘80s cover band, will perform on the main stage. Brat Pack Radio’s Co-frontman Ryan Lance is a four 4-time Emmy Award-winning songwriter, and also a founding member of a Capella darlings The Blenders. Co-fronting on vocals is Season 8 American Idol Top 15 finalist Jesse Langseth.

The Lions Club will sponsor a beer garden and for those who prefer the cork, the Fridley Rotary club will sell wine. Alcohol sales are cash only.

And yes, there will be food. Four food vendors are expected to dish out summer favorites.

Kids activities include inflatable bounce houses, slides, carnival games, face painting, hair coloring, home depot crafts, local business booths, a police K-9 demonstration and martial arts demonstration all while a DJ plays family-friendly music.

The Fridley Police department will sponsor a dunk-a-cop tank, with proceeds going towards the Fridley Police Explorers program.

The dunk-a-cop tank was a hit with attendees of all ages during the 2016 Fridley 49er Days Festival. (Sun Focus staff photo by Sam Lenhart)

A Fridley All-School Reunion Night has also been organized with the Saturday nights events. Anyone who has been involved with the Fridley Public School District – alumni, teachers, custodians, coaches, etc. – can join to reconnect and enjoy the festival’s activities at Commons Park.

New events this year include a car show at Fridley High School. A $5 donation is recommended for each show car and the first 50 cars will receive a dash plaque. In the event of rain, the car show will be rescheduled for 2-5 p.m. Sunday, June 18. All funds raised will go to the Fridley Wrestling program.

Fridley Fire will also collect food donations for Southern Anoka County Assistance food shelf. Guests are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to the department’s “Battle the Blaze” inflatable.

To end the weekend festivities with a bang, the Fridley 49er Days is bringing back fireworks.

Schedule of events

• Fun Run, 9:55 a.m.

• Fridley Lions Parade, 10 a.m.

• Food concessions, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Kid’s Day activities, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Bounce houses, slides and games, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Kid’s DJ, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• Police department dunk tank, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Beer and wine sales, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

• Car show (at Fridley High School), 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• Martial arts demonstration, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

• Patriotic Pride event, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Fridley High School All-School reunion, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

• Brat Pack Radio band, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

• Fireworks, 10 p.m.

Contact Sam Lenhart at [email protected]