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BCD train is loaded, hitched & ready to roll

A Tracy tradition that began the year “Lucky Lindy” flew across the Atlantic continues this weekend.

Thousands of visitors are expected in Tracy for the 87th annual Box Car Days, Friday through Monday, August 29- Sept. 1.

“We’ve got lots of activities that people are going to enjoy,” comments Kim Roggatz, Tracy Chamber of Commerce manager.

Tracy’s first Box Car Days in 1927 was a two-day affair. The 2014 event plans four days of activities.

Midwest Rides & Concessions will open at 4 p.m. Saturday, with $20 bracelet night offered from 4 to 11 p.m.

The midway re-opens on Sunday at noon, and continues until 11 p.m. The midway opens again on Monday at noon.

The Chamber’s bingo tent will be hosted by several community organizations. Hours are from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 11 p.m. Sunday, and 2:30 to 6 p.m. Monday.

Friday, August 29

Chamber Burger Night—The grills will be hot and the burgers juicy as the Chamber hosts its “build-your-own-burger” night.  Serving is from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Chamber’s beer tent across from City Hall.  The meal is intended as a “thank you” to all Chamber volunteers.   The public is invited.

Box Car Grammies—Twelve singers will hit the high notes for the Box Car Days Grammies karaoke contest.  Performances begin at 8 p.m. Contestants are Jesse Hernandez, Elizabeth Barton, Joshua Parenteau, Kim Timlin, Joe Goor, Karie Salfer, April Arnold, Brenna HatfieldKelly Hatfield, Deb Enderson, Dave Ziemke, and Dasha Mumm. The finalists were selected in four semi-final sing-offs held at The Caboose and Bonnie & Clyde’s.  Some $600 in prizes will be awarded.


Saturday, August 30

Barbecue cook-off—Who can prepare the best-barbecued pork ribs?  The first-ever BCDs event is prepared to find out, with up to 15 local chefs firing up their cookware.  A dessert contest is also planned.  Registration begins at 6 a.m., with judging starting at 2 p.m.

Spectators are invited to watch the cooking. Free tasting samples will be offered to allow people to vote on “The People’s Choice.”

2002 Tracy Area High School graduate Jordan Roots will be among the six contest judges.  Roots was a finalist in last year’s Master Chef reality television series.

Kegs & eggs—Scrambled eggs, sausages and a Bloody Mary bar will be available in the Chamber’s beer tent from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

400 Open Golf Tournament—A Best Ball Golf Scramble begins at noon at the Tracy Country Club.  Registrations for three, four, and five-person teams can be made by calling 629-4666. Fee is $25 a person.

Kids’ Day—The Wheels Across the Prairie Museum will host kids’ day activities that will include miniature train rides, a bounce house, minnow races, rope making, scavenger hunts, Cub Scout demonstrations, and the Great Plains ZooMobile.  An 11 a.m. kiddie parade has the theme “Wheels, Wheels, Wheels.”

A $6 button is good for an adult admission throughout Box Car Days.  Children’s admission is $2.

The museum will serve up a “pork-chop-on-a-stick” fundraiser meal from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Antique tractor show—The museum will also host a vintage tractor show Saturday through Monday.  A threshing exhibition is set at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with a tractor pull hitching up Sunday at noon.

Cards & beanbags—The Tracy Eagles are sponsoring a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament Saturday and Sunday beginning at 2 p.m.  A Chamber beanbag competition begins at 3 p.m. next to the Chamber beer garden.  Cost is $30 a team, with registration beginning at 2 p.m.

Softball tourney—Two days of action are promised from the Box Car Days softball tourney, Saturday and Sunday.  First pitch is 9 a.m. Saturday. Entry fee is $125 a team.  Call 829-0748 or 820-0459 to register.

Street dance—The popular Hicktown Mafia group returns to play for the street dance south of Tracy City Hall.  Hours are from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  There is no cover charge. 


Sunday, August 31

Mud Volleyball—Six-player coed teams will struggle to keep their balance in mud-courts set up west of The Caboose.  Play starts at 10 a.m., with registration set at $60 a team.  Call the Chamber at 629-4021 for more information.

Dad’s Belgian Waffles—Serving is planned at St. Mary’s Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Horseshoe tourney—To register, call 507-531-0364. Pitching at Nehls Park begins at 10 a.m.

Family Fun Day—The FFA Corn Maze north of Tracy Elementary School will be in the spotlight for a host of activities.  Tae Kwon Do demonstrations begin at 11 a.m., followed by a kids’ pedal pull contest, miniature train rides, and other children’s activities.  The FFA has created a corn maze that is inscribed with the words, “Thank You Farmers” and the image of a barn.  Wee World will be selling ice cream.

Bull Riding—More than 30 cowboys are expected for a Midwest Bull Riders Association competition at 3 p.m.   The Great Frontier Bull Riding Company of Maynard is organizing the event.  The competition ring has been set up south of the DeRuyter Pallet building (former Central Livestock barn) on south Fourth St. Tracy FFA members will help direct parking. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 4-12, with children three and under free. (See related story).

Miss Tracy competition—Twelve contestants will be vying for over $8,000 in scholarships.  (See related story).


Monday, Sept. 1

Fly-In Breakfast—The pancakes and sausages will begin to sizzle at 7 a.m., with serving continuing until 11 a.m.  Airplane rides will be available. An antique car and motorcycle display is also planned.  At 10 a.m., a “Salute to the Military” is planned. Aircraft will fly over the airport while the Tracy Community Band plays the Star Spangled Banner and the Tracy American Legion displays the colors.

5K & 10K road races—Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. On-line advance registration is encouraged at  The start and finish is at Central Park.

Arts & Crafts Fair—Dozens of vendors are expected for the St. Mary’s Arts & Crafts Fair, held in the St. Mary’s gym.  Events are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grand Parade—The traditional Box Car Days parade will start on Emory St. near Second, turn south at Sixth St., before heading back east down Morgan.  The parade turns north on Second, before disbanding near Central Park.  The Schell’s Hobo Band will provide pre-parade entertainment, by performing along the parade route prior to 1 p.m.  The Tracy American Legion color guard and the Tracy Area High School marching band will lead the parade.  The Tracy Community Band will also be performing in the parade.

Pigeon races—High-flying post parade fun is promised with the annual pigeon race. The racing rights for individual homing pigeons will be auctioned off.  The person whose pigeon reaches home in South Dakota first wins a cash prize.