VERGAS, Minn. (WCCO) – While other communities offer fancy, politically correct versions of holiday parades and festivals, the people of Vergas are happy to be a little rough around the edges.
They’re getting ready to host the fourth annual Redneck Holidazzle, a one-day event that features decorated pickup trucks and trailers, fish houses and a lot of beer.
“Everybody wants a picture perfect Christmas,” said Sherri Hanson of the Vergas Community Club. “But we thought we can maybe do something different, and that’s where redneck came up.”
Kevin Zitzow, owner of Vergas Auto Repair, will transform his golf cart into a “sleigh” for the parade down Main Street.
“You don’t get to do this in the Cities,” he said.
Zitzow wrapped his golf cart in fresh deer hides a few years back, and took home the grand prize trophy.
“That first year, my sleigh was the stinky one,” he said. “It stunk like deer. Me and a friend of mine were dressed up in orange and we drove it around,” he said.
This year, he’s attaching two bikes to the front of his sleigh and plans to have inflatable dolls on the seats, acting the part of reindeer.
When Redneck Holidazzle debuted in 2012, the main attraction was the parade, but it now includes a full day of events, including skits.
“We added the Mr. Redneck Vergas contest,” said Hanson, “And then the next year we added the Dating Game contest.”
This year’s skit will feature several couples taking part in a redneck version of the Newlywed Game.
Billy’s Corner Bar will be one of the stops on the annual Beer Chase, which involves taking a mug from one place to another and drinking a beer at each stop. Billy’s will offer live music, a mechanical bull and games of Bingo.
“We have Road Kill Bingo,” co-owner Vanessa Perry said, “which is where you can win meat.”
Even the plumbing and heating shop, Hanson’s, gets involved, supplying a toilet for a bean bag competition. Contestants toss brown bags into the bowl in what organizers call a “crap shoot.”
Another bar, Skal, is hosting the Redneck Olympics, while the local gun club is sponsoring a fish house contest.
“They want people to see, you know, this is really a neat place to be,” said Hanson. “We can be ourselves, like redneck, you know. You can just be yourself.”
In Vergas, population 321, that means knocking back a few, at the end of a long stretch of work.
“We like to have a good time,” said Perry. “We work hard, play hard so we like to have a lot of events going on and keep people busy.”
“Probably not a lot of political correctness, though,” said Zitzow.
The 2015 Redneck Holidazzle is set for Saturday, Nov. 21.