By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — A person would not have to think about it for very long to understand why Barbara and Dan Harms have been selected as the grand marshals for this year’s Cucumber Festival.
Barb and Dan are both enthusiastic supports of the Cucumber Festival.
They also have both served on the Cucumber Festival committee for many years — although they agree they are not exactly sure how many years.
“Once I retired, I thought I’d have time for (the Cucumber Festival committee),” said Dan, who retired from the Boyceville school district in 2002 where he taught Business Education for 33 years. Dan came to Boyceville in 1969.
“It’s such an honor (to serve as grand marshal),” he said.
When asked what their duties are going to be as grand marshals, Barb and Dan said they knew they would have to be in the grand parade on Sunday
The Cucumber Festival grand parade will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We just have to be there (for the Cucumber Festival), which we will be. Because we are in charge of a lot of things and because we are on the committee, we’ll be at everything for the weekend,” Barb said.
“We’ll be there from Thursday night on for the set-up,” Dan said.
“They’ve divided it up really well (for Cucumber Festival committees) the last few years. It used to be that it was pretty much left up to one person. She asked for help, and now we’ve got some really good members who are willing to take charge of a certain unit of it. It’s been working out really well,” Dan said.
Barb and Dan live on the northwest side of Wheeler. Dan has lived there 28 years, and Barb has lived there 50 years in October.
Dan is originally from Iowa while Barb grew up in Knapp. She attended Menomonie High School and also went to school at UW-River Falls.
Dan grew up in Reinbeck, Iowa, and graduated from Reinbeck High School in 1965. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa and graduated in 1969. He earned his masters degree from UW-Eau Claire.
Barb worked for the post office for 25 years and then worked for Dairy State Bank for 17 years. Over the years, she has been involved in 4-H and snowmobile clubs. She was active in the Hay River church for a while, too, although now she and Dan belong to Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Wheeler.
While she worked for the postal service, Barb served in Menomonie, Colfax and Downing.
The Dunn County Humane Society is another activity to which Barb devotes her time.
In addition to their community work, Barb and Dan have a number of pastimes they enjoy.
Their cabin in Winter, for example.
“We go there quite often,” Dan said.
Both of them like to play golf, although Dan enjoys hunting and fishing, while Barb enjoys reading and hiking.
More specifically, Dan enjoys musky fishing, and he also likes trapshooting.
“I’m a reader. I love to sit and read. And I like to walk and ride bike. That’s what I do,” Barb said.
Dan has recently started a new hobby as well — collecting Ping golf balls.
The golf balls come in a variety of two-tone colors, which makes them look a little like fishing bobbers.
The Ping golf balls were manufactured until 1990. “So I started collecting those. They were made in Scottsdale, Arizona,” Dan said.
“The gold and bronze are the most expensive. I don’t have any gold,” he said.
Barb Harms is a horse enthusiast, too, and kept and rode horses for years.
“But then the kids got a little too old (to enjoy the horses anymore),” Barb said.
“And then when you’re gone for three months every year,” Dan said.
Barb and Dan spend their winters in Arizona.
“I go to a lot of garage sales (in Arizona). And I drive a truck for the food bank. It takes care of my free time out there,” Dan said.
“We’re active members of the Wisconsin Club. We put on Wisconsin Days out there (in Arizona). And we get about 1,200 to 1,500 people a day. It’s a lot of work. But it’s people from our area who are organizing it,” he said.
Being on the committee for the Cucumber Festival “is a lot of fun. I enjoy doing it. It’s the same with Wisconsin Days. We’re working with people we didn’t know. Some we knew. But you make a lot of friends. And you see how many people enjoy it,” Barb said.
“A good turnout is thanks enough,” Dan said.
“And you hope it doesn’t rain, too,” Barb said.
Dan and Barb serve on the committee for the Spirit of Christmas in Boyceville as well.
The Harms have been married for 28 years and have four children: Lori Sinz (Rob) of Boyceville; Lance Lorenz (Di), who live across the street from them in Wheeler; Brian Harms of Chippewa Falls; and Stephanie Voelker (Joel) of Connorsville.
And they have four grandchildren: Ashley, Carolyn, Emily and Tanner.
Over the years, Dan Harms has been busy with a wide variety of activities.
Some people may remember him from Dan’s Outdoor Supplies, which he operated from 1971 to 2010.
Here are other activities in which he is or has been involved:
• First president of the Boyceville Jaycees.
• Past president of the Dunn County Education for Employment Council.
• President, treasurer and secretary for many years of Northwest Trapshooters Inc.
• Two-time past Master of the Glenwood City Masonic Lodge.
• Several years as treasurer for the Boyceville Education Association.
• Vice president for many years of the Wheeler Snowdrifters.
• Treasurer and secretary for Our Saviors Lutheran Church.
• Lifetime member of Muskies Inc.
• Executive board member for Wisconsin Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
• A member of the Community Action Club in Boyceville.
• Past member of the Boyceville Lions Club.
• A member of the Boyceville Rod and Gun Club.
• FBLA advisor, Education for Employment coordinator, assistant football coach, junior high basketball coach, and baseball and softball umpire for many years.
• Dan and Barb Harms winter in Sun City, Arizona, and are active members of the Wisconsin Club.