GALVA — The 26th annual Old Empire Days will be held on Aug. 24 and 25, bringing activities, competitions, food, prizes and more to the streets of downtown Galva.

“It’s a fun time for everybody,” organizer Naomi Ford said.

The weekend starts with a worship service and dessert potluck at 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at Park Henry. Participants should bring a dessert, table service and lawn chairs.

This year’s Old Empire Days features a special tribute to the 12 men who were part of the National Guard unit who were activated 50 years ago during the Vietnam War. The men — Royce Anderson, Frank Anderson, Lucky Bengston, Jim Decker, Kenny Koehn, Wayne Koehn, Robert Nichols, Jerry Petersen, Jr. Russell, Ted Russell, Donnie Unruh and Russell Walline — will be honored in a

in a ceremony beginning at 7:45 p.m. Aug. 25 in front of the Galva Historical Museum, 204 S. Main St.

The museum will be open during the weekend for visitors to view a display with photographs of each of the soldiers.

Even more local history will be spotlighted with presentations about the Santa Fe Trail.

“The Santa Fe trail is just two miles south of Galva,” said Galva Historical Museum volunteer Linda Andersen. “We’re surprised when people come into the museum and they don’t know they’re so close to the trail.”

Steve Schmidt, president of the Cottonwood Crossing chapter of the Santa Fe Trail, will give a talk on the trail at 3 p.m. at the Galva Fire Station.

Emma Perera will follow with a speech on the history of the trail and Running Turkey Creek.

“The Army got snowed in there for five days,” Andersen said. “...It’ll be very informative for anyone who is interested in history and the Santa Fe trail in particular.”

A car bash will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 25. as a fundraiser for the medical expenses of 1-year-old Kaden Schmidt, son of Ryan and Kelli Schmidt and grandson of Angela Dunlap, Dennis Nelson and Dennis and Tammy Schmidt.

Kaden was diagnosed with encephalotrigeminal angiomatosis or Sturge-Weber syndrome, a neurological disorder marked by a distinctive port-wine stain on the face and seizures or convulsions.

“He’s had a lot of surgeries but he’s facing more,” Ford said.

The “Cruise In Down Town” will start at 9 a.m. on Aug. 25.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., also on that day, at the Galva Community Building as a fundraiser for the Canton-Galva Band Department.

“Last year, they did really well and were able to get some things that they really did need,” Ford said.

Returning this year is homemade ice cream made by Austin and Tamika Koehn, available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 100 W. Second St.

“Last year, I had the gooseberry and it was delicious,” Ford said.

Some other events that will take place on Aug. 25 include:

• Wolvespride Crafts and other vendors will be open from noon to 5 p.m. at 100 W. Second St.

• A children’s parade will be from 1 to 1:15 p.m. starting in front of the fire station, 220 S. Main St.

• Carnival games will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. at 100 W. Second St., with the kid’s pedal pull starting at 2 p.m. at the same location.

• Kasey the Clown will entertain audiences from 2 to 5 p.m. at 100 W. Second St., with a candy hunt for children ages 3 through 8 held from 3 to 4 p.m. there as well.

• The Great Treasure Hunt will be from 3 to 6 p.m. along with a tricycle obstacle course on Main Street, and an inflatable alligator slide will be open for playing at 100 W. Second St.

• Bubble gum blowing and cookie stacking contests will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Main Street.

• Rides will be available on a vintage fire truck from 4 to 8 p.m. on with pick-up and drop off at the Galva Fire Station. A dunk tank open at the same time will benefit the Canton-Galva High School prom.

• The future firemen’s competition for students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Galva Fire Station

• Raffle tickets will be sold at the Galva museum, from noon to 7:30 p.m. with drawings for the winners taking place at 8 p.m. on Main Street. Prizes include a sunflower quilt, a cross made from combine parts, wind chimes and more.

“We want people to come in and support the raffle, we have a lot of neat things,” Ford said.

• A barbecue with brisket, pulled pork, hot dogs and brats will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. as a fundraiser for the Galva museum. Pie and coffee will also be available; donations for those items will benefit the Galva Senior Center.

• A fireworks display will take place at 9:30 p.m. at the ball park on North Main Street, after which a family-friendly street dance with music from Triple Play will be held in front of city hall.

“If people don’t want to dance, they can just come and sit and have music in the background,” Ford said.

For more information about Old Empire Days, contact Galva City Hall at 620-654-3561.

Contact Patricia Middleton by email at or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.