Included in this year's outstanding free entertainment selections at Traer's Winding Stairs Festival Aug. 9, 10 and 11 are five live performances by band or musical groups.
"Sheltered Reality" started the entertainment Thursday night, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m., performing at the North Tama Football Field at the North Tama School (following a premier look at the 2012 NT football team).
On Friday, Aug. 10 in the early evening, at 5:30 p.m., the ever popular "Barefoot Becky" will be performing downtown in Traer, immediately following the kids' parade. Don't forget your dancing shoes (and your lawn chair) for this performance. Becky's group provides German-style polkas, Czech music, country, big band and party favorites. Free kolaches while they last beginning at 6 p.m.!
Later on Friday evening, beginning at 9 p.m., "Loose Neutral" will be back once again to perform at the festival. "Loose Neutral" is a unique blend of high energy rock, pop and country, and was enthusiastically received at the festival last year.
Continuing this year's musical entertainment on Saturday night, Aug. 11 will be a performance by the "Doo-Wops" at 8 p.m., with harmony sounds from the '50s, '60s and '70s. The "Doo Wops" will be followed by a performance by the popular "Smokin'Guns," an area band performing classic rock and country.
Entertainment at the Festival will also include a "Night at the Traer Opera House" on Friday night at 7:30 at the Traer Historical Museum, as the Wolf Creek Players furnish live music and performance.
Hypnotist Victoria Michael will involve the audience in her performance at 6 p.m,, right after the Grand Parade on Saturday night at 5 p.m.
Besides all the usual kids' games (and featuring the ever-popular inflatable rides), there will be special performances for kids too. Escape Artist Jonathan Bryce will entertain all ages Saturday morning at 9 a.m. inside the Memorial Building, then outside on stage at 3:30, and don't miss his 7:30 p.m. performance, as Bryce will be "buried alive" in full view of the audience!
Kids will also like the (free!) QuickDraw Caricature Artist Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
The fun for kids actually begins with Family Fun Games on Thursday evening from 5:45 to 6:45 at the NT Athletic Complex. Teams of 6 will compete in family style games appropriate for ages 6 and up. At least two people on each team need to be related. Prize for the winning team of six is $300! Senior high kids can enjoy food, music and swimming at the Traer Pool on Thursday evening between 9:30 and 10:30.
On Friday evening, the Red Carpet Coloring Contest will begin, with prizes awarded in several age categories. The kids who have attended the Ecumenical Vacation Bible School in Traer will perform some music for the audience at 5 p.m., followed immediately by the Kids' Parade. A lot of kids games (free) will begin at 6 p.m., and the inflatables will be going strong from 6 to 10 p.m. Traer Municipal Utility will give free Bucket Truck Rides high into the sky between 6 and 10 p.m. Friday night. Older kids might want to watch the Hot Dog Eating Contest at 8:30! The winner will receive $100 in Traer Bucks!
Parents and kids can enjoy the free pancake breakfast at the Traer Memorial Building on Saturday morning, and at 10 a.m. watch the "Little Miss & Mr. Talent Show" (ages 8 and under) with the winners to ride in the parade! The Card Board Boat Races take place at 11 a.m. at the Traer Pool. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m, enjoy the Quail Valley Petting Zoo.
At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Senior High teams (of two kids each) can compete in the Pickle Ball Competition at the NT School gym. In the afternoon and evening on Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m. the inflatable rides will be available, with wristbands sold at the Red Information Tent.
Those 14 years of age and older, and adults, may want to compete in the Standing Ovation Talent Contest to be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Winner of that contest will be determined by audience applause, and winner will receive $100 in Traer Bucks.
A Junior High Pool Party will be held Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. Throughout Saturday evening, the Big Button Photo Booth will be set up on Second Street, with free fun photo strips with extra red carpet props available.
A "Smiley Face Train" will once again be provided for the kids from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday evening.