Dancers with the Développé Dance Company perform during last year’s Kalona Days parade.

Make sure to bring your sunglasses — a beach-themed Kalona Days celebration will be making waves through downtown Kalona this weekend.

Festivities will take place in downtown Kalona Saturday beginning with a fun run at 7:40 a.m. 

“I’ve already heard that there are people really engaged with the beach party theme,” said Ben Curtis, executive director of the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce.

Two new events in this year’s lineup include a dunk tank and a cornhole tournament.

Six participants have already agreed to be dunked.

The event is family-oriented, with activities for both kids and adults to enjoy. Almost all will be free of charge, with the exception of the fun run, dunk tank and the cornhole tournament. 

All dunk tank proceeds will go to the Pleasantville Home Building Project.

The grand marshals of this year’s parade are Pat and Tracy Anderson. They will ride at the start of the parade. That begins at 10 a.m.

The parade will begin at the Kalona Sales Barn and head west on B Avenue to Highway 1. It will then head south for a block before turning back into downtown and moving east on C Avenue to the Sales Barn.

A panel of judges will determine a winner from the parade’s participants, who will receive a traveling trophy adorned with an antique tractor.

“We’ll fill the streets on B and C avenues with people, there’s no doubt,” Curtis said.

Cotton candy and food will be available for purchase from various vendors including Stone Wall Brick Oven Pizza and Country Cookin’.

Pony rides, a kids activity tent and train barrel rides are some activities that will be available for kids to enjoy. Some will be lucky enough to ride away on a brand-new bicycle, sponsored by the Kalona Optimist Club, which is giving away six bikes this year.

The celebration is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the city of Kalona. In the past, Kalona has seen two separate citywide celebrations. Kalona Days was one of them, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, while the other downtown celebration was hosted by the city. 

“[It’s] super helpful that we can partner with the city and their staffing and resources that they used for that event to bolster Kalona Days,” Curtis said.

The event will begin early in the morning with the start of the fun run, and it will finish sometime late in the afternoon.

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