After a year-long absence, the summer celebration that Prairie Farm has been waiting for is about to begin.
A year after its predecessor was canceled due to COVID-19, Dairy Days 2021 makes its reappearance from Friday through Monday, July 9-11, at locations throughout the village.
The weekend begins with a truck/tractor pull Friday night, July 9, an event that has drawn an average of 120 to 140 contestants in past years, according to the Prairie Farm Area Lions Club, the major Dairy Days sponsor.
Throughout the rest of the weekend, the Lions Club -- and a group of Prairie Farm-based community organizations -- will play host to many other events, from sports tournaments to quilts, from a tractor ride and classic car show to an ecumenical church service, from live music to concessions, beverages and – on Sunday, July 11, an ice cream sale just before Dairy Days closes with its Grand Parade at 1 p.m.
During the pandemic last year, the cancellation of Dairy Days put a damper on fundraising, for the Lions Club and other groups that rely on income from the weekend to help them carry out service work and contribute to charities.
That’s one reason why fundraising is an emphasis for one of the major events in 2021 – the Charity Tug-Of-War contest at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 10.
As in past years, teams will be encouraged to sign up for the contest, according to Lions Club member (and business owner) Bart Gosnell.
“But in order to enter, your team must be sponsored by a nonprofit,” he said in an interview in May 2021.
Winning teams will donate their share of the purse to the sponsoring nonprofit, he added.
New events are being introduced this year, both as a means of drawing more people to town and to create additional fundraising opportunities.
• A kids’ tractor pedal pull at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 11. Winners are entitled to advance to state-level competition later in the summer.
• A beach volleyball tournament on Saturday, July 10, sponsored by the Dallas Area Ambulance service.
• A “vintage-rules” baseball game on Saturday, July 10. It will be part of a multi-level baseball tournament to be played throughout the weekend at the high school ball fields.
For more information, see the schedule accompanying this story or visit the Prairie Farm Area Lions Club Facebook page.