Ag Days is shaping up for 2013 as the committee has lined up several new activities along with many of the usual favorites for this annual event, which runs Aug. 13 through 18.

Buttons are $5 and offer discounts on various items and admission to several events, including the corn and hot dog feed. They are available at the Spring Valley Tribune, First State Bank of Minnesota, Home Federal Savings Bank, Sunshine Foods, Chateau de Chic, Grafix on the Go, First National Bank, Security State Bank, Spring Valley Greenhouse, Fowler's BP, A&W, Mettler Family Chiropractic, the Spring Valley Historical Society Museum, Ody's Country Meats, True Value, Vintage Point Artifacts, Minnesota Joe's and The Pizza Place.

The Tribune will be publishing a guide to all the activities of the celebration in the Aug. 14 edition. Some of the new activities include the play "Snow White," a kids run, Ag Days Idol and a Big Wheels race. A couple other events have new twists this year.

"Snow White"

Novella Meisner explained she chose "Snow White" as the 2013 Ag Days production because "I love fairy tales. The last time I directed it was 'Beauty and the Beast.' I never pick the 'Disney' version, but always try to pick the script that is more in line with the original stories.

The Ag Days production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" will take place Wednesday, Aug. 14, through Saturday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m., with a free performance given by Brave Kidz Theatre at 6:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are available at the door, Sunshine Foods, and Chateau de Chic. Tickets purchased in advance or at the door with an Ag Days button receive a $1 discount.

"This is a great cast, a great crew, great script. If you love theatre, you'll love this show. If you have never been to a show, you'll love this show. This is great show to introduce your children to live theatre. Come on out and join our fun! You are in for a real treat."

Little Huskers

The Little Huskers 1k kids fun run, sponsored by The Spring Valley Area Community Foundation, is free for children 2 to 12 years of age due to the support of several local businesses. However, children must sign up by next Monday to ensure a medal and T-shirt.

The foundation decided to sponsor this run "to provide kids with an opportunity to participate in an activity that they can look forward to and prepare for every year that promotes physical fitness and, hopefully, healthy lifestyles," said foundation board member Steve Harder.

The run, which takes place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, will follow the trail around Willow Park on the outside loop, which measures one kilometer, or 0.62 miles. The race will be timed, but there will be no competitive awards as the objective is for fun.

Ag Days Idol

"It's...something I wanted to try to draw a different crowd during Ag Days, try something different," said local deejay Joe Kovarik. The first-ever Ag Days Idol singing competition, sponsored by Kovarik's deejay and karaoke business, called Uncle Lu's, and the Ag Days committee, takes place at South Park the evening of Friday, Aug. 16.

There'll be a panel of judges who will pick three winners for the first round, and then there's a crowd vote for the second round. One of the judges is a radio deejay - Jas Caffrey from KWWK - and all the judges will be people who are around music all the time.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners, possibly including a trophy for first place, cash to split between the top three winners, free admission to the street dance, and drink tickets for the street dance if the winners are old enough.

Registration for Ag Days Idol is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, in Spring Valley's South Park, with the competition beginning at 6 p.m. Cost is $5 per person.

Big Wheels race

There will be a Big Wheel Race on Sunday, Aug. 18, on the new one-way next to the pool at South Park. Children ages 3 to 6 will be able to compete on the original low-slung tricycles.

This race will be run by Kingsland Early Childhood Family Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC), which is a voluntary council made up of parents of young children in the community. The council will also be providing other entertainment for young children during the annual celebration in Spring Valley.

"At our first meeting, it was clear that there was a need for more activities for young children during Ag Days," said Kingsland Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) teacher Ann Priebe. "The council decided to facilitate bounce houses as a fundraiser, offer face painting, burlap sack races, and hold a Big Wheel race.

"The idea of a Big Wheel race came from my own childhood when the downtown streets of Spring Valley were blocked off and children raced their own Big Wheels," said Priebe. "When the idea was presented to the council, it won unanimous support. We feel that it will be a fairly simple event to host and will create some great memories for the children at the same time."

The race is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m., with the 3-year-olds taking the handlebars first.

Children may register to participate in the Big Wheel Race at noon on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the one-way street near South Park, where the race will be held half an hour later. Parents or caregivers must be present to sign a safety waiver for their children to take part in the free event.

The members of the ECFE Parent Advisory Council are still seeking volunteers to help supervise Ag Days events, including bounce houses throughout the weekend at both South and Spring Creek parks, the Big Wheel Race, face painting and burlap sack races. Interested persons may contact Priebe at priebe.ann@kingsland.k12.mn.us.

Zebra cakes

This year, zebra cakes, not pies, will fill the mouths of contestants in what has become an annual event at South Park.

"The challenge last year was to see who could eat the most in a time frame, but this year, we're giving people two to three cakes to see who can eat them the quickest," said Sunshine Foods local owner Linda Bennett, speaking of the Ag Days Zebra Cake Contest, scheduled for Saturday afternoon at South Park, during which participants will attempt to quickly devour packaged zebra-striped confections.

There are some other changes besides the change from pies to zebra cakes. The structure of the contest has also changed to encourage more participation with rounds and categories, including a youth category.

The zebra cake contest is set for Saturday, Aug. 17, at 3 p.m. at South Park, and anyone with a sweet tooth is welcome to take part.

"It's something new for Ag Days," said Bennett. "Come out and try it - it's a lot of fun."

Ag Days 6k

The annual run for adults has changed locations and distance. The race will be held on the Spring Valley trail this year, starting at the camper area and ending in Willow Park. The distance will be six kilometers so runners can run the length of the trail.

Register by next Monday, Aug. 5, to ensure a T-shirt and get a discounted price. Online registration is available at the Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce website and on paper forms at the Spring Valley Tribune or City Hall.

For more information on Spring Valley's Ag Days celebration, log onto www.springvalleychamberofcommerce.com.