One of the area’s final community celebrations puts Monticello under the spotlight this week, as Riverfest 2015 kicks off Wednesday night in the city on the Mississippi.
An overview of the entire week can be found on MonticelloRiverfest.com.
The “unofficial” start of the week kicks in Wednesday, as the downtown businesses and Monticello’s Community Center host a block party, starting at 4:30 p.m. near the Cornerstone Cafe at the corner of Walnut Avenue south of Broadway. Concessions, games and treats sponsored by the Monticello Chamber of Commerce will be available, as well as a “frozen T-shirt contest.”
Thursday, the “real” Riverfest launches Thursday night at its traditional starting point – Pioneer Park in southern Monticello, near Little Mountain Elementary School. Starting at 5:30 p.m. the night in the park features inflatable fun, a demonstration from the Wright County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, the 12th annual Car Show, a petting zoo, pony rides and concessions. A pie eating contest will also take place at 6 p.m., along with a performance by the Great River Community Band.
The annual Talent Show takes over the Monticello High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and runs until 9 p.m. This is one of the region’s largest talent shows, and will feature acts from around the NWCT area. Admission is $4.
Friday continues at dusk with the annual Fireworks by RES Specialty Pyrotechnics. This year’s theme is “Magic in the Air.” The show is best seen from the south side of Monticello, particularly the high school area. Fireworks will be launched from the space between Eastview and MHS.
The Monticello Riverfest 5K kicks off at 8:30 a.m. at the West Bridge Park, and also features a toddler trot and fun run for kids.
Saturday also includes a bean bag tournament and the street dance at the MCC parking lot, featuring the Fabulous Armadillos. Music will start at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, the Riverfest Parade, featuring a trio of high school marching bands as well as dozens of community groups and businesses, kicks off at 12:30 p.m. The route includes Third Street (near the Legion and heading west), Walnut Street, Sixth Street and Minnesota Street.
Prior to the parade, the community hosts an ecumenical service at Ellison Park, starting at 9 a.m.
After the parade, head back to the park for music, lunch, the annual Duck Race, Miss Monticello Coronation and the Monticello Citizen of the Year presentation will all take place from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Shuttle bus service is available Saturday and Sunday around the downtown area, including from the East Bridge Park parking lot, the Deputy Registrar Parking Lot and the Monticello Middle School.