Belgian-American Days set for Aug. 6-8
Last year's event was scaled back due to the pandemic, but the 69th annual Belgian-American Days in Ghent from Aug. 6-8 will be a full-scale event.
The three-day event kicks off Friday with a city-wide Scavenger Hunt with clues posted on the Belgian-American Days Facebook page at noon, or can be picked up at the City Office throughout the weekend.
(See the B-A Days poster on the back page of this issue for times and dates of various events).
A bean bag tournament in front of KB's will be followed by the Little Miss Ghent contest on the main stage around 6:30 p.m.
The Challenge of the Lions Mud Run had to be cancelled this year due to water restrictions caused by the recent drought. Instead, the B-A committee has substituted a Non-Challenge of the Lions .05k event right after the coronation.
"We expect this to be very entertaining since we are inviting participants to dress in the best 60s attire," said Ghent City Administrator Dawn Vlaminck. "The race, which is only 164 feet, is a great excuse to get our entire community together and socialize; something we missed out on last year."
Register for the .05k run by Monday, Aug. 2 to receive a free tie-dyed t-shirt.
To stay with the 60s theme, a DJ will be playing music from that time period. Popular games from the 60s will also be available to play.
A block party will be held at the finish line and participants can enjoy a milkshake from Lingen Dairy, topped with a Belgian cookie. There will also be free beer and root beer.
A pedal tractor pull will be held on Friday evening. To conclude the opening day ceremonies, the B-A Days royalty will host the movie, "Luca" from Disney, at the ice rink at 9 p.m.Ghent is widely known for its Rolle Bolle tournament and this year the committee is expecting participants to come from all over the country, and even some from Canada, as they have in the past. The tournament begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The annual softball tournament was cancelled this year as the host team has a previous commitment.
The B-A Days committee is hosting a historical photo contest for the first time this year. They are looking for images that showcase Ghent's history. Photos was be submitted to the City Office no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6 to be eligible for the contest. First place is $100, while second place is $75 and third place is $50.
"We have done some renovations to the City Hall and are looking to create a historical photo gallery," said Vlaminck. "What better place to find these gems than from our community's members. We are very excited to see the submissions."
Another widely popular event held annually during B-A Days is the Ghent Cruisers Car Show, now in its 15th year. Registered participants receive a free t-shirt.
There will be many other events through Saturday, including a petting zoo and kid's carnival, a traveling exhibit from the Lyon County Historical Society, Grand Parade, Ghent Fire Department's annual burger feed, Ray of Light Church food both, and a street dance featuring IV Play.