June Bug Days
Another year comes to an end, and we have a lot to be thankful for. As a committee working each year to build a great community event takes a lot of help to make things run smoothly. The Baldwin Village crew works tirelessly helping us set up for the event. Hauling bleachers, barricades, picnic tables, and garbage cans prior to the event. Then cleaning up each day after the crowds disburse, the crew comes out, asking our team “What else” needs to make that day go. Finally, on Monday, returning everything back to its place. A special thanks to Trax, Brad, Craig and the team for the past 14 years.
When building June Bug Days from scratch, we decided we needed some big events to bring in the people and create some extra fun. Tractors & trucks, smoke & dust and occasionally fire from one tractor engine. Built by Randy Myer, Value Implement and Anderson Excavating, the Baldwin tractor pull continues to be one of the best pulls in the area. Each year Randy brings in tractors from Wausau, to Mankato, Hayward to Des Moines, always getting accolades for having one of the best tracks around. Anderson Excavating and Value Implement each year provide endless equipment to make the pull successful. This has occurred since day one, not even receiving pay, just the enjoyment of a great event and a little advertising. A special thanks to Joe & Jay for endless support.
June Bug Days the Early Years
With the chamber reaching out for manpower help, Troy Benzer and Randy Myer from the chamber asked Rick Coltrain, Jon Zevenbergen and Blackhawk Hockey to provide staffing needs to bring the celebration back to prominence.
Moving the event down to Mill Pond, while receiving some push back, allowed the tractor pull, the bands and other activities to be centralized and pushing the community down to the village’s greatest asset. While many events were tried in the early years, mud volleyball, grill off, bed races, trike races, guitar hero, movie night, and volleyball to name a few, others events succeeded. Fireworks, dodgeball & kickball and the Grand Parade have survived the test of time.
Each year the Village and our sponsors help provide financing for the event, i.e – paying for entertainment – including but not limited to marching bands in the parade, bands under the tent, fireworks, and the carnival to name a few.
Each year many organizations provide the manpower to make the event a success. Our committee, with the proceeds generated from the tractor pull and beer sales, use the money raised to pay the volunteer organizations for their help. Organizations included in our event: Baldwin Firemen, Baldwin Band, Community Foundation, Blackhawk Hockey, Wrestling club, Tennis booster club, Golf Booster Club, Soccer Club, Family, Food & Fun, Family Resource Center, Boy Scouts, and Youth Baseball Association, among others. Even though we were given only $125.00 in the pot to start with, over the years we have been able to give back to these groups over $100,000.
As time passed, the committee evolved; Jon & Lynn Zevenbergen, Randy & Lori Myer, Aaron & Jamie VanRanst, Annette & Troy Peterson, Emily & Steve Rognholt, Jen & Pete Werdan & Adam Bassak has been the core group for the past 6 years. After 14 years of fun – and a lot of hard work - we as a group want to thank everyone who has participated, enjoyed and worked hard to make this festival successful. We have collectively decided this is our last year running the festival. Best of luck to the next group.