Kaposia Days 2019


Rosefest 2019 - A Special Section published by Lillie Suburban Newspapers
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Celebrate all things South St. Paul at Kaposia Days

Just as South St. Paul keeps evolving, Kaposia Days is ever-changing and growing. 

These days, the event is bigger and better than ever, including street dances, fireworks and parades. And once again this year, there are new events with the tried-and-true favorites that are back again.

More than four decades ago, when civic leaders were searching to name the new festival, they didn’t have to look far. They picked Kaposia, the name of the Dakota settlement that existed when the first European explorers arrived. Kaposia was situated on the land where South St. Paul is now located.

Every summer, Kaposia welcomed more than 400 members of the Mdewakanton-band of Dakota. 

In that same spirit, Kaposia Days hopes to bring the community together for a weekend of friendship-building and family-friendly activities.

Out of all the activities held, says Kaposia Days President Joe Gullerud, his favorite events are at the beginning and the end — the parade and the fireworks.

“It’s like the whole community’s there,” Gullerud says.


Some friendly competition

The medallion hunt is back again this year. Participants in the hunt use clues to search for a medallion the size of a hockey puck that’s hidden somewhere in South St. Paul. The hunt starts on Monday, June 24. There will be 10 clues in all, and the hunt ends at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28, if the medallion is not found. In that event, the prize money will be added to next year’s prize. Complete rules can be found at www.kaposiadays.org.

Join the South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force for the 8th annual City Water Balloon Dodgeball Tournament on Sunday, June 30, starting at 1 p.m. at Central Square Community Center. The task force is looking for residents of all ages to form teams of five to six players. Once teams are registered, brackets will be developed and teams will compete for first- and second-place trophies, as well as Best Team Name and Best Team Outfit honors. 

To compete, complete and return the registration form with the registration donation by June 30. Registration forms are found at South St. Paul City Hall or at www.southstpaul.org. Don’t want to compete? Come and cheer the teams on. Proceeds will help fund the South St. Paul Fill the Backpack Campaign. 

Once the champion has been determined, join the task force for an all-out City Water War. For additional information or a registration form, contact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at 651-554-3230 or deb.griffith@southstpaul.org

Opening Saturday, June 23, at 8 a.m., and wrapping up at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 26, the softball tournament will once again take place at Veterans Fields and Kapoisa Landing Fields. 

To register a softball team, contact tournament director Rich Rakness at 651-455-1725.


Something old, something new

One of the new events this year is the sporting clay fun shoot at the South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 29. Costing between $55 and $65, there is a $5 discount if you have a Kaposia Days button.

Ray Boettecher, a co-chair of the event and part of the South St. Paul Lions, says there will be a group shooting for fun and a group shooting for competition, along with a silent auction tied to the event.

No registration is required. Boettecher says people should come out and try the sport.

For those who want to get their heart rate up, there will be a 5K and 10K run along the Mississippi River on Saturday, June 29. Kaposia organizer Natalka Kramarczuk says there had been a run in the past and bringing it back seemed like a nice fit. The shorter of the two races is an official 5K with chip timing.

Partnering with the United Food and Commercial Workers, proceeds raised will benefit the Lymphoma Society.

Registration for the runs is open; both cost $35. For more information or a link to register, go to www.kaposiadays.org/event/5k.

With the VFW closing, Kramarczuk says organizers needed to find a new venue for the annual street dances. Friday, June 28’s dance will still be at Concord Lanes from 8 p.m. to midnight.

There’s another chance for some dancing Saturday, June 29, at a block party hosted by Kaposia Club. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and High & Mighty will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Open to all ages, entrance is $5 or $3 with an event button. Kramarczuk says Kaposia Club wanted the event to be more family-oriented and turned it into a block party.

“We kind of took a spin on the street dance we’ve been having and twisted it to be a block party, kid-friendly,” Kramarczuk says, adding there will be face painting and other attractions for young people.

Kaposia Club is also sponsoring this year’s fireworks, which is the first time the display has been sponsored. 

One element of Kaposia Days not returning this year is the royalty program. Gullerud says it’s being changed to an ambassador program, which will be open to both boys and girls.

“We’ll have a year gap with nobody representing the city in the hopes that this time next year we’ll be able to get a good number again,” he says.


There’s plenty to eat

Before, during, after and in between the parades, kite flying, classic car show, street dancing, bingo and more, there will be plenty of eating options.

A food court with concession vendors will be set up on Friday, June 28, from 5 to 9:30 p.m., at Southview Boulevard and Eighth Avenue. 

Don’t worry about cooking breakfast on Sunday, June 30. Fury Motors employees will be serving up pancakes and sausage from 9 a.m. to noon at the dealership, 1000 Concord St. S. The meal is complimentary with a Kaposia Days button. 


All her favorite things

Every year, a local student designs the Kaposia Days Button. 

This year’s designer is Molly Jansen, who recently finished fifth grade at Lincoln Center Elementary. 

The 10-year-old, who pointed out she is almost 11, says she thought of the things she enjoys at Kaposia Days when creating her button, which includes a royalty crown, go-karts like in the parade, and pancakes from the breakfast at Fury Motors.

Jansen says she was, “very excited and very, very happy” to have her design picked. She gets to ride in her grandpa’s 1947 MG TC car in the parade -- something she is very excited to do.

The button, which costs $3, will help get you into the Button Swim, Fury’s pancake breakfast and the block party.

Buttons can be purchased at a variety of local businesses. For a full list go to www.kaposiadays.org/event-registration/button-design.


A traditional kickoff with a different route                            

If you happen to be driving south on 12th Avenue the afternoon of Friday, June 28, you can expect to see lawn chairs arrayed beside the road. That evening South St. Paul’s Kaposia Days Grande Parade will be winding its way throughout town.

This year’s parade will follow a different route due to construction, Gullerud says. “We knew that was coming.”

The parade route begins at 12th Avenue North and Third Street, traveling south on 12th to Southview Boulevard, east on Southview to Seventh Avenue then south on Seventh Avenue.


Prime parade position

After an exciting May, the fun keeps coming for Jessica Davis, who is the 2019 parade grand marshal. Gullerud says the South St. Paul High School math teacher was chosen as grand marshal after she was named this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

“That was such an honor. This town is so great,” Davis says. “That’s what I really love about South St. Paul -- the small town community.”

Davis says she is excited to be more embedded in the fabric of the community because it reminds her of how she grew up, herself coming from a small town. She also says she knows Kaposia Days is a big deal, since her students are always talking about it.

“By the end of June, I’m usually nonexistent, so this is going to be my first experience at Kaposia Days,” Davis says. “I’ve been practicing my wave.”

This year’s Super Senior is Kay Francis, who will be joined by his wife, Mary. When he first got the call about the position, Francis says he thought it was a crank call. 

“The lady nicely explained the situation and being that I’ve been in the city for 83 years, we’ve watched a lot of Kaposia Days parades and thought it would be a very honoring thing to participate in,” he says, adding he talked it over with Mary, who agreed they should do it.

Francis says he enjoys the Kaposia Days fireworks the most, followed by the parade.

“The rest of the events fall into place,” he says.


Fun for all ages

Kids will be decked out for the Children’s Parade on Saturday, June 29, at 10:30 a.m. This year the kiddie parade is themed “Favorite Storybook Character” and starts with entrants lining up at 10:15 a.m. at Fifth Avenue North and Southview Boulevard.

The parade concludes at Central Square, 100 Seventh Ave. N.

After the Children’s Parade, stick around Central Square for Kaposia Kids Stuff until 2 p.m. There’ll be a football toss, fish pond, Dip the Duck and many other kiddie carnival games.

Back again is the Kite Fly on Sunday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be free kites for everyone to put in the air at Jefferson Field.

The weekend festivities wrap up that same day with a concert by the Inver Hills Community Band from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Central Square Amphitheater. The party will move to the high school football field at 8 p.m. for music by the High Brows and the Shades. Kaposia Days 2019 will come to an end after a weekend full of fun with fireworks going off at 10 p.m.


For a full list of events taking place during this year’s festival, go to www.kaposiadays.org. 


Click here for more information on the many Kaposia Days activities!


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