Hiawatha is the place to be on Saturday, Sept. 25 for the Hiawatha Chamber’s Maple Leaf Festival downtown and the Brown County Historical Society’s Heritage Days celebration at the Ag Museum.

The events will be going on all day and a trolley will pick up festival-goers downtown in front of the Memorial Auditorium to transport them to the Ag Museum and back throughout the day. There is also parking available at the Ag Museum area, located at 301 E. Iowa, for those who want to drive.

Maple Leaf Festival:

The Sept. 25 event will be bringing in some fantastic music in addition to children’s entertainment and carnival fun, along with craft and food vendors for an awesome fall festival downtown around the courthouse square.

Headlining the musical entertainment on the main stage in the middle of Oregon Street will be the Red Dirt Band — a local country band who will perform at noon for some lunch-time entertainment. Members of the band will form a duo — Graceful Grit — who will also perform on the main stage prior at 10:30 a.m.

Stephanie Gummelt, of St. Joseph, Mo., will be joining the line-up of local musical entertainment to perform at the Maple Leaf Festival. She is a solo artist with more than 50 songs and made it to the top 200 of American Idol in January 2015. Her performance is scheduled for 1 p.m. to follow the Red Dirt Band. Other performer includes local high school senior Nirvana Peterson for a solo acoustic set at 2:30 p.m

Some family entertainment is scheduled throughout the day with ARCWild, local wildlife experts, for a presentation with wild animals at 10 a.m. on the north side of the courthouse steps, followed by local magician Barron Stringfellow for a show at 11:30 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

In addition, this year’s festival will include some great children’s educational entertainment from the Omaha Children’s Museum, including a wind tunnel/craft station, a bubble station, STEAM experiments and coding mice. Expect Spiderman, Elsa and Captain America to make an appearance, circulating through the downtown festival from noon to 2 p.m. to greet kids.

Other fun events include several attractions through Carnival times, a rock climbing wall, laser tag, axe throwing. In conjunction with the Maple Leaf Festival, the Hiawatha Parks & Recreation will be sponsoring the Donut Fun Run/Walk at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.Sign up starting at 1 p.m. in front of City Hall.

The HCVB will be selling Halloween T-shirts with the 2021 logo on them, in addition to maple leafs for the Maple Leaf Drop.

The HCVB will be taking extra precautions due to COVID with several hand sanitizer stations set out around the square, along with extra cleaning of the children’s inflatables. It is recommended for participants to wear masks on the activities or other areas where social distancing is not able to be maintained.

Contact the Hiawatha Chamber and Visitors Bureau at 742-7136 or email hiawathachamber@rainbowtel.net or stop by the office between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday to purchase a wristband for the attractions.

Heritage Days:

The Heritage Days event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ag Museum and Windmill Lane and feature one-room schoolhouse classes, G&C Petting Zoo, Lead Sled Pullers Garden Tractor Pulls starting at noon, crooked sticks toys/walking sticks, muzzleloaders and blacksmith, Ioways Bee Farm, Kickapoo Tribe, Kansas Woven Keepsakes and much more.

The Cook Shack will be open for breakfast, starting serving at 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. and reopen 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch.

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