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Go Wild in Rio Dell 

Bad news. If you're reading this on Thursday you've probably already missed part of this year's Wildwood Days. Sorry. The annual reason to go to Rio Dell is back in full force, running from August 4-8, with family fun aplenty. Like, literally too many things to list here. But we'll give you the highlights.

Now, the NCJ officially comes out on Thursday, but we know some of you pick it up a day early. You cheaters really shouldn't be rewarded, but we'll let you know that Wildwood Days kicks off Wednesday at 5 p.m. with the Cruise and Show. Over 80 classic cars rumbling down Wildwood Ave. for you to gawk at while you enjoy the sounds of Swingin' Country and choke down barbecue. ‘Merica.

Thursday is all about the young'uns. If you like watching your kids competitively trample others in the pursuit of cash, don't miss the Penny Scramble at 5 p.m. in front of the Pizza Factory. Your offspring can pocket $5 for every "lucky" penny they grab, that is before you teach them about "room and board." There will also be fire truck rides, hose relays and the good ol' (weather permitting) dunk tank. Socially advanced 3rd-8th graders can try and muster up the courage to attend a Teen Dance at the Rio Dell Fire Hall at 8 p.m.

Speaking of muster. The competitive juices spill into Friday when Humboldt County's local heroes compete in the Firefighter's Muster on Wildwood Ave. at 6:30 p.m. This would be a bad night to set your house on fire. After the games, check out two-time Wildwood Days Battle of the Bands winner Adam Diaz and his bluesy band down at Fireman's Park.

There is way too much to do on Saturday. Seriously. I'll try and keep it brief. Parade down Wildwood Ave. at noon. Battle of the Bands in the park starts at 1 p.m. Kids Story Hour at the Rio Dell Library at 2 p.m. A Spaghetti Feed at 5 p.m. Riding Lawn Mower Races at 6 p.m. (Now that's an all-'Merican sport.) Texas Hold'em Tournament at 7 p.m. Eel River Valley Idol Talent Show at Scotia's Winema Theater at 8 p.m. Like I said, too much. And that's not all...

For those in Humboldt who take their bocce ball seriously (more than you'd think) another opportunity to take home bragging rights and prizes. Wildwood Days' 32-team Bocce Ball Tournament starts at Rio Dell's Fire Hall at 8 a.m. and goes all day.

There is a new addition to this year's Wildwood calendar. If you've driven through Rio Dell in the last year or so, you know that the town now boasts Humboldt's only mini-golf course north of Redway. Admit it, you're jealous. Visually, Redwood Mini Golf gives props to the Eel River Valley's logging history -- as in, you have to putt around logs. The course will play host to Wildwood Day's inaugural Mini-Golf Tournament. Think you can sink ‘em, Tiger? Starting at 10 a.m., a $20 entry fee will get your putter into Saturday's qualifying round where, after 54 grueling holes, the 10 percent of players with the lowest scores move on to Sunday's Championship. The lucky few will compete for the title of Humboldt County Mini-Golf Champion and all the adulation and Nike endorsement contracts that are sure to follow.

Wildwood festivities wrap up Sunday, with the Great American Duck Race at the Eagle Prairie Bridge. If you've never rooted for a plastic bathtub toy floating down the river, you have not lived. It starts at 10 a.m. Another new addition this year, the Chalk on the Walk Art Contest starts at 7 a.m. and invites participants to, you guessed it, make chalk sidewalk drawings for prizes in a number of categories. Sanctioned graffiti, baby! Finally, the legendary Scotia Band plays at Fireman's Park at noon Sunday.

Whew! For complete schedules of all events and information on how you can enter Wildwood Days multiple events visit

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Andrew Goff

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