Railroad Daze is steaming back

By Daniel Adam
Staff Writer

Railroad Daze is set to make its triumphant return following a the two-year break every event seems to have gone through. The family fun festival will run from July 15-17 in Rainy River.

Organizer Martin Kreger remembers when he attended as a child. He says he loved listening to live bands, and competing in the baseball tournament.

“The town was just buzzing,” he says. “It was amazing to see all the people. It’s just a fun time.”

Kreger and Julie Tiboni are now the co-organizers of Railroad Daze. The festival first began in 1988, and grew over time. As the years went on, support for the event had dwindled, but Kreger says he and Tiboni have helped bring it back. He says he is looking forward to returning to normal, and seeing familiar faces again.

“It’s amazing how this whole community comes together to make something happen,” he says.

Now in 2022, the post-pandemic Railroad Daze comeback will have a full slate of events.

“We’re excited to get going again. It’s going to be a busy, busy weekend,” says Kreger. “We have a lot going on.”

According to a Railroad Daze Facebook post, starting Friday, July 15, the Rainy River Public Library will have a summer reading club with a drop-in craft program along with a summer book sale. There will also be a picnic on the lawn at the senior centre. In the evening, the Legion will be selling smoked pork on a kaiser bun. The Rec Centre is putting on a baseball tournament with concessions and refreshments. There will also be a cornhole tournament.

The festival continues Saturday with an all-day baseball tournament. There will be yard sales in the morning, and the library will continue its book sale. There will be a historical scavenger hunt at the Travel Information Centre. Kreger says they’ll have mini golf tournaments for various age groups. There will be a parade as well. For kids, there will be face painting, inflatables, and dunk tanks.

Due to high water, activities like those — usually in Hannam Park — may need to be relocated. Kreger says they are still figuring out where they might host these activities.

“Mother Nature is going to dictate what we’re doing,” he says.

The popular cardboard boat races will not be happening this year due to safety concerns with high, fast water.

There will be vendor tables in the afternoon, along with a Catholic Women’s League luncheon and penny table. Later, there will be a car show on Main Street. Then, the Legion will be hosting a $20 fish fry. The Rec Centre will also be hosting a dance that night.

On Sunday, there will be a non-denominational church service in the morning while the baseball tournament continues all day.

Not on the Facebook schedule, Kreger says there will also be memorial motorcycle ride with about 50 bikes. The ride is for a soldier who died in Afghanistan.

Stay tuned to the Railroad Daze Facebook page for updated schedules and information on the festival.