Yesterday as the State Fair drew to a close and Labor Day wound down, I felt sad as I realized that summer was coming to a close. Then I remembered that the first weekend after Labor Day is part of the Defeat of Jesse James Days in Northfield and I knew the fun was just beginning. It really got started last week with their annual Horseshoe Hunt with clues doled out all week and finally being found on Sunday by Joe Miller. For all his hard work, and because he also had a registered button, Joe won $1,500. By the way, this wasn't the first time the hunt paid off for him; he won three years ago on day five of the search.

Wednesday is when all activities really get going in earnest with the Joseph Lee Heywood Graveside Memorial Service and Distinguished Service Award Banquet. Joseph Lee Heywood was the acting cashier at the First National Bank of Northfield during the James-Younger gang's attempt to rob the bank. He was killed as they left the bank with less than $27 because of Heywood's successful attempts to keep the criminals from getting the $12,000 that was in the unlocked vault.

There's a full slate of activities and events straight through the weekend, including bank raid re-enactments, live music, a carnival, rodeos, craft show, soap box derby, car show, truck and antique tractor pull and of course the Grand Parade at 2PM Sunday. Bring something comfortable to sit on and maybe an umbrella for shade because this is one long parade filled with floats, bands, Shriners, horses, cars, trucks and more.

This is one fun celebration and I hope to see you at the Defeat of Jesse James Days, Wednesday, September 7, through Sunday, September 11!

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