As La Porte City prepares for its 32nd Festival of Trails Celebration, the event continues to get bigger and better. In recent years, the Celebration has expanded to include a number of activities on the Thursday afternoon and evening preceding La Porte City’s biggest weekend, culminating with the presentation of the Jesse Wasson Award, the Business of the Year and the La Porte City Women’s Club Woman of the Year Award.

In 2018, area residents can expect even more activity, excitement and family fun at the City Park on Thursday, June 14. At 5 PM, the food, games and face painting begins, as a number of churches and community organizations offer a variety tasty treats to enjoy at their booths. In addition to Heartland Community Church and the American Lutheran Church, the Sing Me to Heaven Foundation, Knox Blocks Foundation and Relay for Life, plenty of food and fun will be available. You can even find treats to take home when Sacred Heart Catholic Church hosts a Pie Auction from 6 – 6:30 PM.

At 6:45 PM, the presentation of community awards will take place. This year, the Jesse Wasson Award will be presented to Jan Erdahl. The former director of the La Porte City FFA Historical & Ag Museum before retiring in 2017, Erdahl has been actively involved in a number of community endeavors, including the Museum Board, Historic Preservation Committee and Friends of the LPC Museum. She has also been a driving force behind the various storyboards that make up a walking history tour of La Porte City. Jan is a current member of the La Porte City Women’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

The La Porte City Economic Development Commission will present the 2018 Business of the Year Award to Hoppy’s PRIMitive and Proper. Founded on July 13, 2013, Hoppy’s offers a variety of antiques, vintage home decor items and curiosities that draw visitors from miles away. With “Keep on junkin'”as their motto, there are always new treasures to be found at the shop located at 408 Commercial Street.

The La Porte City Women’s Club will present the final award of the evening- the 2018 Woman of the Year. The Club seeks to honor a woman with personal or professional achievements, accomplishments or community contributions that inspire, empower and make a difference in the La Porte City community. The 2018 recipient of the Woman of the Year Award will not be revealed until Thursday evening.

Capping off the evening’s entertainment is an event new to the Thursday Kickoff lineup, a lip-sync competition. Watch (and listen closely) as competitors do their best to lip-sync their way to musical glory. This event is co-sponsored by Relay for Life, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.