Eagan Funfest kicks off July 3

Community’s 47th annual event returns with food, fun and fireworks

Eagan 4th of July Funfest is slated for July 3, 4 and 8 and will feature many of its annual events such as the Fourth of July Parade. (File photo)
Eagan 4th of July Funfest is slated for July 3, 4 and 8 and will feature many of its annual events such as the Fourth of July Parade. (File photo)

Eagan’s 47th annual Funfest kicks off Wednesday, July 3, with many of its traditional events such as the carnival, children’s bike parade and fireworks.

“Funfest gives Eagan a small, close knit, hometown feel for the state’s eighth largest city,” said Cory Hilden, Funfest secretary.

All events, except the parade and Eagan Funfest Ambassador coronation, will be held on the Central Park festival grounds at 1501 Central Parkway.

The carnival will be held on July 3 and 4 and will feature an array of food vendors and games.

The blood mobile will once again be taking donations on Funfest’s opening day from 2-7 p.m. Blood donations exceeded the Red Cross’ expectations last year and organizers hope for a similar turnout this year.

Funfest wouldn’t be complete without its annual Fourth of July parade.

This year’s parade theme is The Big Bang. It will start at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Yankee Doodle Road and Highway 13 and end at the Eagan Community Center.

Funfest’s grand marshals are Miss Teen Minnesota Dare Van Waes and Superior Service Center owner Dan Sjolseth.

Van Waes received her crown in March and will compete in the Miss American Coed pageant this fall.

The 18-year-old Eagan resident is among the hardest working pageant queens.

An Eastview High School graduate, Van Waes is a full-time student and holds five jobs.

She enrolled at Inver Hills Community College where she plans to take general courses this fall before transferring to a university to earn a bachelor’s degree in musical theater and communications.

Van Waes lives on her own and works part time at UPS and the Hilton in Eagan, interns at the Inver Hills theater program and models with two local agencies.

Sjolseth has been hard at work growing his Eagan auto repair business, which has received numerous awards. In 2012, Sjolseth received the Bob Klas Sr. Entrepreneur Award from the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board. This year, Superior Service Center was one of seven finalists for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award.

Sjolseth will ride in the parade in Jenny, Eagan’s 60-plus-year-old fire engine, which Sjolseth restored for the department.

Funfest will again feature its annual car show, which was brought back last year.

The car show, which will be from 1-5 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at the Eagan Community Center, won’t be a run-of-the-mill show, organizers say.

As in most car shows, the list of 30 vehicles includes classic cars, but Eagan’s show will have hot rods, mudders and souped up lawn mowers.

After watching the children’s bike parade or trying a hand at a Texas Hold ’em game, festival-goers can listen to The Dweebs on July 3 or Jonah and the Whales on July 4.

Funfest will come to a close July 8 with Eagan’s annual Ambassador pageant in which 13 girls will vie for one of six crowns.

Coronation will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 8, in the Eagan Community Center Oaks Room. Tickets cost $7 at the door or $5 with an Eagan Funfest button.

The program focuses on volunteer service, leadership and public speaking.

Candidates will be present at various Funfest events to show their skills at representing Eagan.

“We felt it was better for them to be at the event as candidates than after crowning to let the public meet them all,” Hilden said.

To view a schedule of events, purchase Eagan Funfest buttons or carnival tickets or to view a map of the parade route visit www.eaganfunfest.org.

Those who purchase buttons receive discounts for Funfest events, a schedule of events and will be entered into a raffle for several prizes.

Prizes include a Galaxy Tab 2 and an Apple iPad.

The annual coupon book with discounts to local businesses can be purchased at Eagan City Hall and at the Eagan Community Center. Advance tickets for the carnival can also be purchased at City Hall.