Independence, Maple Plain team up to celebrate

by Amanda Schwarze, The Pioneer

and Susan Van Cleaf, Crow River News

The cities of Independence and Maple Plain are starting something new this year — a joint community celebration.

The collaboration is in its infancy, so the 2014 celebration is happening under its old name — Maple Plain Days. The dates are Thursday, Aug. 14, through Saturday, Aug. 16, with almost everything taking place in downtown Maple Plain. Adults and youngsters will find entertainment tailored for them — ranging from children’s activities at the Discovery Center and a kiddie parade to a fire department water ball challenge, bean bag tournament and street dance.

Independence will sponsor some of this year’s events and then collaborate more fully next year with Maple Plain on a new, full-blown celebration.

People can help pitch in for some of this year’s free Maple Plain Days activities, and get a few perks as well, by purchasing a button. The buttons are $5 and are available at Maple Plain City Hall, Olson’s Market, Blackwater Café and Independence City Hall.

People who purchase buttons will be able to get a free bag of kettle corn and a free slushy during the Thursday, Aug. 14, movie in the park. During the Saturday, Aug. 16, activities, the buttons will be good for one free game of bingo and prize at the city booth in the farmers market. A button also gives people one chance in a grand prize drawing for an iPad Air.

Events will begin Thursday, Aug. 14, with a Memorial Blood Centers blood drive from 3:30-7 p.m. Visitors can have dinner at a 6 p.m. picnic and move on to a movie in the park at dusk.

The featured event on Friday will be the fire department waterball challenge at 6 p.m. at the Maple Plain Fire Station, 1645 Pioneer Ave.

A full slate of activities Saturday will begin with the 8:30 a.m. Beer Barrel Run and Walk. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the park and pool lot, 1501 Baker Park Road. The farmers market and craft fair will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children’s activities will be at the Discovery Center, 5050 Independence St., from 9-11 a.m.

Also on Saturday, the softball tournament will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a classic car show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The 10:30 a.m. Kiddie Parade will be followed by the 11 a.m. community parade. The Maple Plain Museum will offer tours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bingo fans can play for two hours from 1-3 p.m.

Entertainment and a street dance will take place from 1-11:30 p.m. at McGarry’s Pub on Main Street. Man of the Woods Bill Sherk will present a fishing demo from 1-2 p.m. The beer garden will open at 3 p.m. Music for the street dance will be provided by the Shane Martin band from 3-5 p.m., Red Dot Garage from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Boogie Wonderland from 8-11:30 p.m.

Shuttle service will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It makes stops every 15 to 20 minutes and drops off and picks up at the Hennepin County Library.

More volunteers for Maple Plain Days would be welcome to help with tasks such as setup, cleanup and selling buttons. Sponsorships for individuals and businesses are also available. For information on volunteering or sponsorships, contact Maple Plain City Administrator Tessia Melvin at [email protected] or call 763-479-0515.

Contact Amanda Schwarze at [email protected] or Susan Van Cleaf at [email protected]