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Good Old Days promises fun-filled weekend

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ST. IGNATIUS — For the 28th year, Mission Valley residents will gather to celebrate community at Good Old Days — a three-day festival packed with family-friendly events. 

Festival activities are headquartered at the Good Old Days Park just off Main Street in St. Ignatius from Friday through Sunday, July 23-25.

Among the new features this year are a petting zoo put on by the Gerdts family and a quilt show and sale and fabric flea market at Kay Krantz’s home. The petting zoon will be open Friday and Saturday at the red barn across from Taelman Park on Mission Drive, while the quilt show opens at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The quilt show will feature quilts from the Mission Mountain Quilt Guild, Aileen’s Thursday Quilters and others.

“(The show is) just kind of a valley thing,” Krantz said.

Following the Friday evening barbecue, concert and fireworks show, the annual Buffalo Run half-marathon kicks off Saturday’s jam-packed schedule at 7 a.m., with shorter runs starting at 8 a.m. For those not racing, a free pancake breakfast is offered at the St. Ignatius Senior Center from 7 a.m. to noon, ending just in time for the “largest parade in Lake County,” which will make its way down Main Street at noon. 

Saturday afternoon is filled with a variety of family activities and games at the Good Old Days Park, but the fun doesn’t end there.

Sunday morning, volunteer cooks will get busy bright and early at the St. Ignatius Airport for the Good Old Days fly-in. 

Everyone is invited to enjoy a free huckleberry pancake breakfast complete with eggs, ham, biscuits and gravy, and take a look or a ride on one of the airplanes. Last year, around 500 people enjoyed the free huckleberry pancake breakfast at the fly-in, and about 50 pilots came to show off their aircraft.

“(The fly-in is) a chance for the public to come out and see all the airplanes,” St. Ignatius Airport alternate director Mike Kuefler said. “If you want to learn to fly, it’s a good place to get started.”

The Experimental Aircraft Association will again offer Young Eagle flights — free plane rides for youngsters aged 8 to 17 — and Homestead Helicopters will also offer reasonably priced helicopter rides to Mission Falls “for anybody who doesn’t qualify for the Young Eagle flights,” Kuefler said.

“We wanted to call it ‘old buzzard flights,’” he joked.

Schedule of events

Friday, July 23

Dessert baking contest:
A dessert baking contest sponsored by the Old Timer Café will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Good Old Days Field. Bakers may enter the adult or junior division (16 and under) as many times as they like. Any type of dessert is acceptable. Entries need to be turned in at the baking contest table at the Good Old Days Field between 4 and 5 pm. Entries will be the desserts at the Friday evening barbecue.

Prizes for the adult division are $50 for first place, $20 for second place and a $15 gift certificate for third place. Prizes for the junior division are $20 for first place, $10 for second and a $5 gift certificate for third. For more information, call Jim or Julie at the Old Timer Café at 745-3240.
Good Old Days Barbecue:
The annual Good Old Days barbecue will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Good Old Days Park. The St. Ignatius Chamber of Commerce will serve gourmet burgers with all the fixings, barbecue beef, potato salad, baked beans, fruit salad, ice cream and drinks. Come see your friends you haven't seen in years and enjoy a gourmet burger. Dinner is $7.50 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. To reserve group seats for reunions, call Janis at 546-7439.
Free family concert
Sho-Down, a Missoula band featuring St. Ignatius’ own Mike Hegwood, will perform from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the Good Old Days amphitheater. Sho-Down’s music is billed as Montana country that makes the audience want to get up and dance.
Fireworks show:
The Good Old Days Park will be lit up by a firework display provided by Northwest Firework Displays at dusk. The show is sponsored by the St. Ignatius Chamber of Commerce and Lake County Bank.
Saturday, July 24
Pancake breakfast:
The St. Ignatius Senior Citizens will provide a free pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon at the senior center.
Buffalo Run:
The 28th annual Buffalo Run, sponsored by St. Luke Community Healthcare Network, will take off from Main Street bright and early Saturday morning. The half-marathon starts at 7 a.m. sharp and the quarter-mile and 7-mile runs start at 8 a.m. sharp.
The largest parade in Lake County, sponsored by Lake County Bank, will take over Main Street at noon. Entrants may pre-register or sign up at the Mission High School parking lot at 10 a.m. before the parade. To pre-register, you call 745-3123 or visit Debi McCollum at Lake County Bank. There are no entry fees. Line up is at 10:30 a.m., and judging starts at 11 a.m.
Parade divisions are: Commercial, Novelty/Humorous, Clubs, Organization/Group, Native American, Animal-Drawn Vehicle, Child Horse Rider, Youth (12 and under), Farm Equipment, Antique Car, Classic Car, Adult Horse Rider and Stock Car.
Inflatable toys:
Sponsored by the Christian Missionary Alliance Church, Jump for Joy Inflatable Toys and Slides are back by popular demand, and will feature four toys at the Good Old Days Park.
Dog races:
The competition to crown the fastest dog in Lake County will kick off at 1 p.m. at the Good Old Days Park. The St. Ignatius Veterinary Clinic will provide prizes to the winners.
Family games:
Free family games sponsored by Rod’s Harvest Foods, including egg races, a water balloon toss, sprints, sack races and more, begin at 2 p.m. at the Good Old Days Park.
Bike races:
Kids’ BMX bike races sponsored by Stuart’s Mountain View Cenex begin at 2:30 p.m., with prizes like helmets, water bottles and new bicycles up for grabs.
Sunday, July 25
St. Ignatius Airport fly-in:
The annual Good Old Days fly-in, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association, is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon, with a free huckleberry pancake breakfast and free Young Eagle flights for children 8 through 17. Kids will also get a free toy glider and the chance to check out a large display of general aviation aircraft. The event also features helicopter tours of Mission Falls and door prizes, including 110 gallons of aviation fuel to be given away in 10-gallon increments.
For more information about the fly-in, contact Mike Kuefler at 544-2274.

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