Debbie Ray looks at a vendor’s display during a past Prairie Days in Vandalia.
With a full schedule of events set for Saturday, September 22, Vandalia’s annual Prairie Days will bring a variety of performers to town.
Bands start at noon at the front steps of the Vandalia Hotel with the local “Country Strong Band.” At 2 p.m., another local, the “Charles Nutt Band,” takes the front porch of the Vandalia Hotel. At 4 p.m., Joe Cole Comedy Magic takes the main stage.
In the evening hours, “Walking Kalamity” performs on the main stage at 5 p.m., with the “Rhett Roberson Band” on the main stage at 7:30 p.m.
Formerly of Bowling Green, Joe Cole’s Comedy Magic is “one part comedy, one part magic, and two parts audience participation.” According to his website, www.joecolemagic.com, Cole caught the “magic bug” early in his life. During the last 15 years of performance, Cole has been trained by many “Masters of Magic,” received the “Best Close-up Magician” award in 2001, and received the “Most Original Act” award in 2002 — both in New Orleans. Since then, Cole performed at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, a prestigious venue where only the “best of the best” are invited to perform.
Out of Wentzville, Mo., “Walking Kalamity” is composed of Will Strubberg and Lance Brunk. According to the band’s Facebook page, the two are “just a couple of good ‘ol boys from the country.”
“Walking Kalamity” plays an array of Americana, rock, and country, and will be opening for the likes of Trace Adkins, and Tim McGraw at the October 6 “Countryfest” in Sparta, Ill.
Rhett Roberson and Brendan Roberson make up the country “Rhett Roberson Band” coming to Vandalia from Springfield, Mo. According to his Facebook page, Rhett Roberson’s song writing is “so strong and versatile, it will make you want to party one minute and call your mom to tell her you love her the next.”
The “Rhett Roberson Band” is currently competing in Missouri’s “Texaco Country Showdown” at Branson, Mo. The Robersons have made it through the first two rounds of the showdown and will be playing at the Branson Landing for a shot at regional competition.
This year’s Prairie-Days theme is the 50s. Saturday starts with a Run and Walk 5-10K at 8 a.m., which is sponsored by Vandalia Play Care.
The run-and-walk will start at the Vandalia Library. The cost for running is $10 and $20 to include a T-shirt.
Those wanting T-shirts register in advance by calling 573-473-9362 or Micah at Sheer Platinum.
At 9 a.m., the baby show starts and is immediately followed by the Little Mr. and Mrs. Contest. Registration will be at 8:45 a.m. for both events, which are sponsored the Dianthus Club.
The 3-on-3 basketball tournament also starts at 9 a.m. with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. The divisions are: 1-3 grade, 4-5 grade, 6-8 grade, 9-12 grade, 18-30 years old, and 30-plus years old. Registration costs $30.
At 10 a.m., the La Femme Arts Club will begin its pie sale. At that and throughout the day, craft vendors will be on display.
Line up for the 11 a.m. parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at South School. The Vandalia Area Chamber of Commerce is especially interested in local business and organizations participating in the parade by developing theme floats.
The parade is immediately followed by street entertainment featuring the Van-Far Varsity cheerleaders, the Van-Far Junior High cheerleaders, and Angela’s Dance Company.
The Corn Husking Contest starts at noon at the main stage and is sponsored by the Vandalia Historical Society.
Outhouse races start at 3 p.m.
Dimensions for the outhouse structure need be 3’ long by 3’ wide and 6’ high. The structure must have three sides, a sloped roof, and a front door that opens. The outhouse may have side windows, but the windows must not exceed 12” by 12”. An outhouse must be human powered and sit on four wheels that extend no wider the 10” from the side of the outhouse walls. Grasping devices to push the outhouse may not exceed 24”, with a max width of 6’. No ropes are allowed. A toilet seat must be mounted inside the outhouse for the rider. Each outhouse must have a name displayed on the side of the structure, with no explicit language or pornographic displays.
Race teams consist of four people, three of which push. The “sitter” must remain inside the outhouse during the race, except for when completing obstacles. The pushers and sitter may switch positions between races. The sitter must wear a helmet.
During the race, the sitter will get out of the outhouse at each of the three cones marking an obstacle and complete all three obstacles. The outhouse must pass each cone before the sitter gets out to complete an obstacle.
The kids carnival, games, and a bounce house will be open from noon to 4 p.m.
The Super Farmer Contest begins at 1 p.m. with registration at 12:30 p.m.
The washer tournament starts at 2 p.m., and the Fairboard Fish Fry and car show start at 5 p.m.