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90 years of celebrating kids during Benson's Kid Day

An annual community event in Benson that makes everyone feel like a kid again is marking its 90th anniversary. Kid Day was started in 1930 with candy and a parade of children and formalized in 1931 by a mayor's proclamation. Festivities are scheduled for much of this week, including the Kid Day parade and carnival on Saturday.

Benson Kid Day Parade 1
An archive photo of a past Kid Day parade. Photo courtesy of Benson Kid Day

BENSON — This is the 90th year that the town of Benson is celebrating children in their annual Kid Day community event, which includes activities all this week and culminates in a Kid Day parade and carnival Saturday.

The event was started in 1930 by local merchants who handed out candy treats to area children and formed a parade with boys dressed as hobos and girls pushing their doll buggies.

In 1931 the mayor signed a proclamation that Aug. 26 of that year would be Kid Day and promised that “every boy and girl in this city and all the countryside around will be given possession of the city for that day.”

The event apparently started as a last hurrah of “fun and play” before school started and “youth of the land must get down again to serious work,” according to the proclamation, which also said that on the day of celebration “we are all going to be kids.”

The event this year, from July 15-18, includes the annual crowning of a Kid Day King and Queen. There are also a Kid Day chief of police, fire chief, judge and mayor — fifth-graders who have been elected by their classmates — as well as Kid Day Kops. About 450 children typically participate in the parade, according to organizers.

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The city had been planning to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Kid Day in 2020 but because of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the celebration until this year.

Benson Kid Day Parade 2
An archive photo of a past Kid Day parade. Photo courtesy of Benson Kid Day

Related Topics: BENSONMINNESOTA
Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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