Another busy weekend is coming up for Bismarck-Mandan. Marching bands, hayrides, apple pies and parade floats are on tap for the weekend's entertainment and an Alzheimer's awareness walk is scheduled at Tom O'Leary Golf Course in Bismarck.
Marching from the Capitol on the north to the Civic Center on the south, this year's Autumnfest Parade on Saturday will move to the beat of nearly a dozen school bands.
Autumnfest Parade organizer Scott Johnson of Bismarck said that floats and beauty queens, roller derby girls and classic cars will come down the parade route starting at 10 a.m.
"Fall into the Celebration" is the theme of the parade, which begins at the Capitol, travels south on Sixth Street to Rosser Avenue, then over to Fifth Street and south to finish at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Ten high school and middle school bands will march the route, including Bismarck, Century and St. Mary's high schools, Shiloh Christian School, Mandan High School, Wachter, Simle and Horizon middle schools in Bismarck, Mandan Middle School and New Salem.
Singers from the Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus will perform as well, Johnson said.
Johnson said the number of entries will probably finalize around 100 to 150. Beauty queens and pageant winners from as far as Fargo will attend, along with Shriners from Bismarck and Mandan, classic cars and hot rods from the Pioneer Auto Club, the Plainsmen and the Dusters, Let's Dance Studio, Century's Centahnas and BHS Demonettes dance teams, and ethnic groups such as the Sons of Norway.
The Capital City Roller Girls from the new roller derby team will take part this year, he said.
Triple H Horse Rescue is bringing mini-horses along the parade route, and the bigger equine versions will come in the form of the Bismarck Mounted Police.
Bismarck's sports stars from Bobcats hockey and Wizards basketball teams are scheduled too, he said.
"We try to keep it more community than commercial," Johnson said.
"Since it's a nonelection year, no politicians," he quipped.
The fifth annual Applefest is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Buckstop Junction in Bismarck.
Activities include a silent auction, hayrides, old-time photos, an apple pie eating contest, musical entertainment, a paintball shooting gallery and a variety of food and craft vendors.
"We are very pleased, of course, that a lot of our vendors are coming back again," Bismarck Cancer Center public relations manager Kim Jondahl said. "They love it and we love having them and showing off community entertainment that's available here."
New Applefest activities will include a petting zoo, a chipping contest and a caricature artist.
Bless the Fest, a non-denominational worship service, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon Sunday.
"It's a very unique and moving service," Jondahl said.
"It's meant to be a worship service to celebrate those who have gone through a cancer journey and to remember those who have lost the fight," she said.
All proceeds from Applefest will go to the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation to help patients with financial costs, transportation, lodging assistance, physical therapy and emotional counseling.
"Beyond the medical care that's essential for each person, there are other needs for each patient," Jondahl explained.
"We've tried to think of all the needs a person might have when they come for treatment and we try to meet those needs as best as we can," she said.
Admission to Applefest is $6 for adults, $3 for teens and seniors, or $15 for a family pass.
Children ages 6 and under are free. Advance tickets can be purchased for $1 off at the Bismarck Cancer Center, Herberger's, Central Market locations, St. Alexius Medical Center and Medcenter one.
Tickets also are available at the event.
The 2011 Walk to End Alzheimer's will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Bismarck Municipal Country Club.
The walk course circles the Tom O'Leary Golf Course and is a little more than two miles long.
Participants may register at http://alz.org/walk or between 8 and 9 a.m. at the event.
Krista Headland, Alzheimer's Association Western North Dakota Regional Center director, said that there is no registration fee and no minimum amount that people must raise in order to walk.
"We try to encourage each walker to raise at least $100 so they get the
T-shirt," Headland said. "But if they don't ... they can still participate fully."
The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research, according to the organization's website. Events are held annually in the fall in nearly 600 communities.
The walks have raised more than $347 million nationwide, according to the website.
Headland said the event was formerly known as the Memory Walk.
This is the first year the name has officially changed to the Walk to End Alzheimer's, she said.
"Most people know someone who has Alzheimer's. I think we're getting to the point in our country that people realize this is an epidemic and we need to be concerned about it," she said. "By participating, people are bringing us closer to the vision of a world without Alzheimer's."
(Reach reporter Mara Van Ells at 250-8251 or firstname.lastname@example.org or reporter Karen Herzog at 250-8267 or email@example.com.)