ELK HORN - Not only will red, white and blue flags be fluttering on the breeze this coming weekend, but there will be a lot of red and white as well, as Elk Horn and Kimballton celebrate Tivoli Fest 2023 this weekend.
On Friday, May 26 Tivoli Kicks off at the Elk Horn Fire Station. There will be alcoholic beverages by Olive Or Twist, with Mixed Drinks and Experience Iowa and Denmark, along with domestic beers from 3-11 p.m.
Want to try a Danish Hot Dog? They will be for sale by the Tivoli Committee from 6 p.m. until they sell out, and that’s been pretty quick in the past.
New this year is Nielsesation, playing rock music of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s sung by Exira and EHK alumni, sponsored by Danish Mutual Insurance Company from 5-7:30 p.m. They will be followed by Hired Guns - a free will donation at the gate is being accepted. The band is composed by veteran musicians, including local legend Mark Christensen, they “pack a wallop” playing classic rock favorites and classic country.
The Danish Windmill is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. so you can tour the windmill, and the replica Vikinghjem, the Morning Star Chapel and the Ebeltoft Village and shop in the Scandinavian gift shop.
The Museum of Danish America will be free to the public and is open Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits include 40 years of collecting: Highlights from the Permanent Collection; Joyce Tenneson’s Great Danes; In Search of Zion, the Danish-American Mormon Movement along the Mormon Trail to find religious freedom in Utah.
The Genealogy and Education Center are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., free of charge.
Bedstemor’s House is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., free of charge.
The Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park is open all day, free of charge.
On Saturday, May 37, the Tivoli Opening Ceremonies are at 8 a.m. Tivoli’s King and Queen, with help of the local color guard, will raise the Danish and American flags.
Elk Horn Mayor Kelli Hansen and Tivoli Chairperson, Stan Jens, will conduct the ceremonies and a Tom Potts Memorial Ceremony will follow.
At 8:15 a.m. there will be an M&M Fun Run, and a 5k Mill to Mermaid Run starting in the parking lot north of the Windmill. Registration is from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and is open to all ages. For ages 12 the fee is $5. On Saturday only, Salem will provide transportation back to Elk Horn after the M&M run.
The Danish Windmill is open with free admission from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tour the windmill, and interact with Viking interpreters at the Viking encampment all day. See demonstrators, lectures and hear about actual Viking battles (with battle reenactments throughout the day).
The Mill Entertainment Stage, bring a yard chair, and see folk dancing, sings, and music. In case of rain the music and other entertainment will be moved to the Fire Station. Danish Villages Folk Dancers will perform at noon and Omaha’s Scandanavian Folk Dancers at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The Museum of Danish America is open with free admission 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Genealogy and Education Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bedstemor’s house the same hours, also free and Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park all day.
The Stroget, or Danish Walking Street will be open starting at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and include Open Air Vendors, Flea Market, Crafts and more; Food Vendor stands; Tivoli Country Store, Main Street (Bake sale); Retail and museum shops featuring Danish collectibles, apparel, quilts, gifts, winery and more.
The Parade will begin at 11 a.m. This year’s grand marshal is Jan Jensen, a 1987 graduate of EHK, currently the Associate Women’s Head Basketball Coach at the University of Iowa. See floats, bands, vintage cars, tractors, fire trucks, the Tivoli Fest Royalty, horses, Hans Christen Andersen and more.
The route goes west along College Street, south along Hwy 173, past Washington and Broadway, then east to Madison, north along Madison to College.
The Elk Horn Fire Station will have Aebleskiver and Medisterpolse from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Olive or Twist mixed drinks from 11 a.m. to midnight; Folk music at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.
BBQ by Master Grillers catering 5 p.m. until they run out; Tivoli Water Pong from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and music with Tim Van Scayk 5-8 p.m. and Shifting Gears Band from 8 to midnight.
A pickle ball clinic and tournament will be held at the Elk Horn Park at 3 p.m.
Elk Horn Town Hall will have Danish Sandwiches noon to 4 p.m., there will be kids activities from noon to 3 p.m.
The New Century Art Guild and Canteen and Gallery will be open from 10:30 a.m. to noon with a variety of exhibits and activities for all ages, and don’t miss the Polka Police from noon until 2 p.m.
The Tivoli Fireworks Display starts after dark.