GRAND MEADOW - On September 11 and 12, southern Cherokee County will once again be the focal point of a whole lot of down home nostalgia and a heaping helping of "Do you remember when?" as the folks from the Grand Meadow Heritage Center host their 34th Annual Heritage Festival.
They are part summer-carnival, part-harvest festival, part-living history exhibition, part-picnic, with a healthy dose of good-timing fun mixed in for good measure.
You will have to be up with the chickens if you want to be there at the start of this early fall fete.
The food found at any given Heritage Festival is always a high point at any installment of this annual gala.
The festival feeding frenzy gets off to a bright and early start at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning as the Heritage folks break out the pots, pans and skillets for a back home breakfast.
This year, the menu will include scrambled eggs, sausage, ham, and toast, topped off with coffee like grandma used to make.
Since enjoying a Harvest Festival has the tendency of really whetting one's appetite, around dinner time a lot of visitors will be following their noses, enticed by the siren's smell of roasting meat.
Award-winning barbecuing nabob Steve Bryant will once again be turning out grilled beef and pork loins, the main course for the festival's dinner.
The serving for this enticing repast will take place from 11:30 a.m. till 2 p.m.
At 8:30 Saturday morning, this installment of the festival will get off to a patriotic start with a special flag raising ceremony.
A large number of activities, events and nostalgic happenings will take place throughout Saturday.
At 8 a.m., the Farmall-loving folks from the Little Red Power Club and other assorted oldie but goodie tractor jockeys will be departing Cherokee and motoring their way to the Heritage Center in time for the Tractor Parade which will take place at 11.
At 10:30, a special recognition of the Grand Meadow High School Classes of '51 and '61 will take place.
At noon, it will be time for the vintage tractors from those agricultural days of yore to strut their stuff as they compete in an antique tractor pull.
At 1:30 Saturday afternoon, a dedication for the Center's new Hoop Building will take place.
A number of exhibitions will be carried out during the day, including a threshing demonstration that will occur at 2:30 p.m. and a lesson in the fine art of sheep shearing by Floyd Meyer, also taking place at 2:30.
On Sunday, things will get off to a proper pious start with a Non-Denominational Church Service.
From 11:30 a.m. till 1:30 p.m. a special treat awaits as the Heritage folks serve up a festive brunch.
At 12:30, things are revved up a bit as the classic car folks from the Vintage Wheels Club sponsor the Annual Dale Nafe Memorial Car Show.
Also at 12:30, mountain man Tom Roberts will be on hand in costume to talk about the early fur trading days.
Music always plays a major part in any Heritage Festival. On Saturday at 9 a. m., folks will once again be tapping their toes to the tunes provided by the McNeil Family Band. Later that day at 12:30 p.m., you will be able to kick up your heels to the melodies turned out by the band Riata.
The Grand Meadow Heritage Center's Heritage Days are always children friendly with a number of activities earmarked for the youngsters.
On both Saturday and Sunday, the kids can get up close and personal with their favorite critters at the Petting Zoo.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday, the younger set can give vent to their competitive spirit by joining in on a variety of Kid's Games.
Pony rides will also be offered during the event.
So, if the high stress of life in the fast lane has been getting you down lately, slow things down to a more peaceful, meandering pace and take a nostalgic stroll through the days of yesteryear at this year's Grand Meadow Heritage Festival.
The Grand Meadow Heritage Center is located four miles west of Washta on C-66 and two miles north on L-36 or 15 miles south of Marcus on L-36.