Balaton's FunFest annually draws visitors from the surrounding area during the first week of July with events that include parades, a triathlon, bingo and a dance.
This year's Balaton FunFest will be highlighted by the grand opening of the Balaton Area History Center, a museum dedicated to Balaton's rich past. The history center is an ode to Balaton, and the new museum has been an ongoing project for three years. The opening ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday.
What started in March 2009 as a 25-person meeting called to discuss the possibility of a local museum, quickly grew into the Balaton Area Historical Society. Since its inception, the historical society has pursued a building, and last year, the group secured the perfect location for the new Balaton Area History Center.
Pam Johnson, founder of the Balaton Area Historical Society, describes the new museum as an ode to Balaton, with memorabilia making up most of the exhibits.
"We have memorabilia from the creamery area,"she said. "We have a children's corner with old toys, we have a post office section, we have all of the Balaton school pictures. Anything to do with Balaton we have."
Toy by toy and photo by photo, the historical society has been working all year to create a special place to honor its small community with objects of the past. The dedicated group has been able to piece together the history of Balaton with the help of local residents and the effort of its entire team.
Along with the grand opening of the Balaton Area History Center, FunFest 2012 consists of numerous other events. Weekend activities include a parade, golf and volleyball tournaments, bingo, a drumline performance and the 2012 Balaton FunFest Triathlon, which will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Both teams and individuals are encouraged to participate, with youth and adults ready to take down their competition on the shores of Lake Yankton.
New to the Balaton FunFest itinerary is the Frisbee golf tournament at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
"The town has recently installed a Frisbee golf course, so that event is new, together with Dad's Belgian Waffles sponsored by Evangelical Lutheran Church of America youth group," said Julie Erickson, FunFest coordinator and president of the Balaton Chamber of Commerce.
Erickson said it's hard to narrow down to one event that is the town favorite, but the events on the lake are always the most popular.
"On Friday night we have fireworks over the lake and a lighted boat parade," Erickson said. "We always have entertainment and the community band will play. Our schedule has gotten more full year after year."
5-10 p.m. Beer wagon
5-7:30 p.m. Burger feed, Balaton Foundation
6-7 p.m. Minnow races
7 p.m. Community band
8 p.m. Entertainment - Kayla Daniels
9:30 p.m. Lighted boat parade
10 p.m. Fireworks
7 a.m. Fitness Run/Walk, Lion's Park
7 a.m. Concessions, Lake Yankton
7:30 a.m. Triathlon registration, Lake Yankton. Antique tractor show, Glenn's Service Center/Hively Welding.
9 a.m. Triathlon, Lake Yankton
9 a.m. Co-ed volleyball tourney, Lion's Park
Historical Society museum open
9 a.m.-noon Dad's Belgian Waffles, community center
10 a.m. Historical Society Museum grand opening ceremony
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Inflatable obstacle course and bouncer, across from Lion's Park
12:30 p.m. Float registration, football field
1-6:30 p.m. Beer gardens, Lions Park
1 p.m. Parade line-up, baseball field
2 p.m. Grand parade
3:30-5 p.m. "Sheltered Reality" drumline, Lion's Park
3:30 p.m. Jessica's Ponies and Petting Zoo, Lion's Park
3:30 p.m. Kids tractor pull, Bank parking lot
3:30 p.m. Golf tournament registration, Eastbay 9 Golf Course
4 p.m. Golf tournament, Eastbay 9 Golf Course
4:30 p.m. Cow bingo, Lion's Park
5-6:30 p.m. Supper in Lion's Park, catered by Benson's
9 p.m. Fireman's dance, Main Street
10 p.m. Raffle drawing
10 a.m. Ecumenical service, Victory Christian Church
Historical Society museum open
11-1 p.m. Trinity Church picnic dinner, community center
11-1 p.m. Book Signing "Out Of the Blue" by Scott Thoma, community center
Noon Bean bag tourney, Lake Yankton
1 p.m. Concessions, Lion's Park
1:30 p.m. Frisbee golf tournament, Frisbee golf course sponsored by BACF
1:30 p.m. Adult/child golf tournament registration
2 p.m. Golf tournament