The Icelandic community of Mountain invites one and all to the Deuce of August celebration happening the first weekend in August. The event has trimmed some of the usual weekend festivities due to COVID-19, but the majority of the festivities, including the parade and Heritage Program, will continue.
“We wanted to give a little time and see how this pandemic would develop before we made decisions. We thought it was premature to be making decisions back when this first started or even March or April. We started making decisions in May,”Curtis Olafson, President of Icelandic Communities Association, said.
One of the first events that was decided to be canceled was the tractor pull because it was such an expensive event. The financial risk of staging the event when attendance was expected to be down was too much. In June, the review of other events lead to a few others being canceled such as the street dance.
“We always knew right from the beginning that we would go ahead with the parade. We think that can be very safely done without any worries about large numbers of people mingling in the area,” Olafson said.
“We came up with what I think is a really good idea for the parade marshal. It will be the Borg Memorial Home administration and staff past and present. It has a long history in the community and has provided care at that stage of their lives for literally thousands of people. I think it’s a great thing that we are honoring them as parade marshal for their service to the community, the area and beyond.”
The committee met again in July to devise a way for the Heritage Program to continue. The Heritage Program will be broadcast as a webinar from the community center with limited seating being provided on a first come, first serve basis. The program will feature welcoming comments from Icelandic dignitaries as well as performances via video of an Icelandic choir. This year will be a minor bump in the history of this special event.
“This event has been going on for so many years. It’s an event that attracts a lot of people because people whose roots are here in the area, though they may live hundreds or thousands of miles away, make this an annual pilgrimage home,” Olafson shared. “We are going to do our best to put together a good and interesting program. Then by next year, I’m very confident that we will be back to celebrating our heritage in person.”
Final decisions for events such as the Mountain American Legion Fish Fry and the car show on Main Street will be finalized closer to the date as details are continuing to be worked out. Olafson hopes that the pandemic does not deter people from attending the events that have been made as safe as possible, especially when Icelandic goodies will be available for all to enjoy. This big event that is fun for all begins on Saturday, August 1 at 10:30 a.m. when the parade begins on Main Street in Mountain.