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Ducks! Lawnmowers! Bocce!



Celebrating everything that makes it both wild and woodsy, Rio Dell gets its romp on this week with Wildwood Days.

The five-day festival has everything from racing lawnmowers to mustering firefighters, with plenty of alliterative events in between. (Parade, poker, penny scramble.)

And it might even be sunny. Maybe.

Things get started on Wednesday, Aug. 1, with a 5:30 p.m. car cruise that ends shinily at DJ's Burger Bar. Thursday night there are kids' games and a teen dance.

And get ready on Friday, Aug. 3, at 6:30 p.m., to find out exactly what firefighters do when they muster.

(Spoiler alert: They hook up long hose sections really, really fast, to see who can be first to spray a traffic cone without the hoses leaking or maybe coming apart spectacularly. And they stage bucket brigades, says Lisa Wilson, who helps organize Wildwood Days, which benefits Rio Dell's volunteer fire department.)

Carnival rides will be new at the festival this year, and Wilson assures us that the classic rubber ducky race is definitely on, for 9 a.m. Sunday, even though it's missing from the website's list of events.

The Eel River Valley Idol contest has been canceled, though, she said. She isn't sure why, but she's certain it has nothing to do with that spoilsport application, which bans any act involving live animals or firearms.

Expect lots of action on Saturday, Aug. 4, starting at 8 a.m. with a bocce tournament, men's and women's softball, and a motorcycle show, then catch your breath for the 9 a.m. fun run, noon parade, 1 p.m. music fest, ... plus mini-golf, poker, vendors, book sale, spaghetti feed and ... yes! ... riding lawnmower racing at 8 p.m.

"They get pretty competitive in that," Wilson says, with some mowers stripped down to near go-cart-ness. "They have their helmets on and they squeal around the corners."

Sunday winds down with more softball, chalk art, a car show, a barbecue and then a live auction starting at 1 p.m. For more details, see


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