The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County Heritage Festival starts Friday


July 26, 2018

Larry Holcombe/Daily Globe

A group of Hurley High School band alumni practice Tuesday evening in the school parking lot for their appearance in Saturday's Iron County Festival parade, set to begin at 2 p.m. on Silver Street in Hurley.


The 16-day Iron County Heritage Festival begins this weekend - Friday actually - with a passel of activities.

The festival is an annual effort by the Iron County Development Zone to market events across the county, said director Kelly Klein.

"The whole idea is to be an umbrella for a lot of different things going on and to show people there are things to do," said Klein. "It goes across the county and seems to work really well."

The events are populated by locals, but bring in visitors as well, said Klein.

"While there are the main events - the Paavo, Loon Day, events at the school, the fair; there are a couple of museums in the county people should take advantage of that tell about the heritage of the area. People should check them out. They're cool places that tell where we came from."

The Iron County Historical Society tends the Iron County Museum in the former Iron County Courthouse on Iron Street in Hurley. The Mercer Area Historical Society also has a museum. Little Finland in Kimball on U.S. 2 is also dedicated to preserving an historical perspective.

Friday offers a variety of events, including a golf tournament at Eagle Bluff to benefit the Hurley Quarterback Club and an open house at the Highline Corporation on Wisconsin 77 in Hurley from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The public is invited to see the various programs offered and products created there.

The Iron County Heritage Society will host Heritage Day on Friday at the museum in Hurley from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The place will be abuzz with activities from costumed interpreters to demonstrations of blacksmithing, broom making and weaving.

There will also be a flag raising ceremony at the Hurley City Hall at 5 p.m. to mark the 100th anniversary of the city's incorporation. There will be speeches and a veterans groups will join in the flag presentation. The Hurley Fire Department will host an open house beforehand beginning at 4.

Saturday brings the Heritage Festival Parade at 2 p.m. on Silver Street in Hurley, but before that the Hurley K-12 School will offer tours and a light breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by a pair of honors ceremonies.

The Hurley Education Foundation will honor four individuals as part of its annual Alumni and Friends celebration at 10 a.m. The Hurley Quarterback Club will induct another set of people into the Athletic Hall of Fame at noon. Both groups of honorees will be on floats in the parade.

The Alumni and Friends honorees include the late Dr. Joseph Lalich (Class of 1928), the late Joseph Masterson Sr. (1947), Dave Traczyk (1968) and the late Vern Downey, former Saxon School principal and teacher. The Hall of Fame inductees include Gary Pavlovich (Class of 1976), Jeremy Leccia (1995), Melissa (Luoma) Oja (1999), Robbie Fauerbach (2000) and Jeffrey "J.J." Borseth (2005).

Also on Saturday, there will be an antique tractor show at the Farmer's Market in Hurley from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m .; the seventh annual Iron County all-class, all-school reunion will run from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the Iron County Memorial Building in Hurley; and the Mercer Education Foundation will host its summer fundraising event at the Pines Restaurant from 6-11 p.m.

St. Mary's Catholic Church will host its annual bazaar on Sunday, beginning at noon. Billed as an "old-time church social and festival," the event promises children's games, bingo, food and music.

Mercer's 38th annual Loon Day craft show will be Wednesday. More than 250 vendors will line the streets from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be music, food and games. A street dance is planned the night before from 7 to 11 p.m.

The Iron County Fair will run at the fairgrounds in Saxon Aug. 2-5. A variety of events are planned by the 4-H and other organizations. There will be carnival rides, music, foods and exhibits.

The Friends of the Mercer Library will hold a used book sale on Aug. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Mercer Lions will host the annual Turtle River Duck Race fundraiser at Rugger's Landing on Aug. 4, beginning at 11 a.m.

The 50th annual Paavo Nurmi Marathon - Wisconsin's oldest marathon - will take place Saturday, Aug. 11.

The warm up for the event begins Friday, Aug. 10, with race registration at the Hurley K-12 School from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be a kids race there at 6, and a spaghetti fundraiser from 3-7 to benefit the American Legion. The torch lighting ceremony will take place near the Iron Horse Trailhead in downtown Hurley beginning with music at 7 and wrapping up with a 2.62-mile glow run at 8:30.

The race begins at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 11 in Upson and winds through northern Iron County past Whitecap Mountain and the Gile Flowage, ending on Silver Street in Hurley. Organizers offer full and half marathon competitions, as well as two- and five-person relay events. A post-Paavo party will be held at Riccelli Park from noon to 4 p.m. Visit for more information.

Other events on Aug. 11 include: a turkey shoot at the Northwoods Shooting Range in Mercer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m .; the 38th annual Springstead Corn Roast from noon to 6 p.m. at the Springstead Town Hall; and the Turtle Flambeau Flowage pig and corn roast from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Gateway Resort in Mercer.

For more information on the festival, contact the Iron County Development Zone at 715-561-2922.


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