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New, classic Mineral Springs Days events draw crowd

Mineral Springs Days, Colfax’s annual weekend festival, was a celebration of the old and the new as the event took place for the 29th year.

The weather held out well for the festivities, reaching into the high 80s and low 90s with no precipitation to speak of, unlike the 2012 event which kept would-be-attendees at home or crowded beneath pavilions during the rain.

Friday evening kicked off with a freewill donation spaghetti supper at the Colfax Senior Center, which drew enough participants to sell them out, far exceeding their expectations for the evening.

Attendees also came out for Blake’s Race, a cancer fundraiser that has been held for several years in honor of Blake Wood, a teenager in the Colfax-Mingo community who lost his fight with cancer.

Blake’s Race, a 5K trail run which routed participants through the streets of Colfax as well as through the disc golf course and other trails in Lewis Park, brought in around 50 runners.

The race was held in conjunction with the Celebration Walk, a new event this year. The walk was held at the high school track, and attendees could register for $20 for a one- or two-mile track-walk along with music, dancing and several other contests. The walk is “to celebrate the memory of a life or for someone who is battling for their life,” and proceeds went to the charity selected by the team with the most registered walkers. This year, Blake’s Blessing was selected by the winning Black team.

Saturday was a fun-filled day with events beginning at 8 a.m.

Vendors and community organizations lined West Howard street, offering up everything from home-baked pies and BLT’s to face-painting and pony rides for children.

The pony rides in particular were a crowd favorite, with the event maintaining a steady line of families from the time it opened until it closed late in the afternoon.

The crowd was also drawn out for the diaper derby, an event where families could enter their children in a decorated diaper contest or crawling and walking competitions.

Later that evening came the feature entertainment, with the classic Colfax demolition derby and the street dance.

Normally, according to event organizer Cindy Van Dusseldorp, the two events would be set on different evenings. This year however, another popular event in the county forced Colfax Main Street to hold them both on Saturday.

The demolition derby brought 2,600 people into the community, dwarfing the number of attendees at the street events earlier in the day. In the past, the event had never broken more than 2,000 attendees according to event organizer Brad Magg.

The derby, which included small cars, large cars, trucks and vans, went on into the evening, overlapping the street dance which went past its scheduled midnight completion.

Now, with the event in the rear-view, organizers are already looking at how things went and thinking about what they can do differently next year to bring in a larger audience.

Staff writer Matt Nosco may be contacted at (515) 674-3591 or at

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