Hartsel Days 2021, which was held Aug. 28 and 29, was a huge success.

Activities included watermelon eating contests for children and adults, the bed race, rummage sale, local vendors, food trucks, two pancake breakfasts, the rubber duck race, silent auction, bake sale, book sale, live music and children’s activities, such as the popular money mountain.

The parade on Sunday included the colorful Highline Cafe float, the popular Shelby Cobras, color guard, the Hartsel chain gang bicycle club, the South Park Ambulance, Veterans assistance vehicle, the Hartsell family, a real old time mountain man and more.

Much to the surprise and delight of most of the crowd, the Hartsel Fire Protection District showed off its water spraying reach.

A new activity was introduced this year by Hartsel residents, Steve and Lori Gunderson. The Gundersons brought Granny Panty Polka to Hartsel. This involves polka music and extremely large underwear which gets transferred to one’s polka partner when the music stops.

There were 509 rubber ducks that raced this year. The water was low, so Hartsel firefighters had to herd the ducks to the finish point.

“Once again my duck did not win,” Chris Tingle, fire chief said.

The bed race drew many competitors, but none could beat the Checkin’ Heifers, though the Sloppy Joe team came close.

Vendors sold baked goods, jams, slime, massages, art, and gave out information.

This year the visitors also enjoyed hearing lots of stories from the actual Sam Hartsel family members who are fourth generation cousins and spell their last name with an extra l.

“Sam Hartsel and Bill Cody drove ox carts together when they were 14,” Richard Hartsell said.

The Hartsel family members also served as grand marshalls for the parade.

More information about Hartsel Days can be found on Facebook.

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