If you’ve been homesick for Gays Mills over the years, we have the perfect reason for you to come back home for Fourth of July weekend. We call it the Stump Dodger Bash!
What is the Stump Dodger Bash?
Well, the Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campground is named for the Stump Dodger train, whose remaining railroad bed still marks the edge of the campground. Just ask founder of the campground, Jim Showen, about the history of the Stump Dodger. He, as well as many other longtime residents of Gays Mills, will be happy to tell you just about anything you want to know about the Stump Dodger and Gays Mills, too.
All you need to do is be here to ask them.
The Fourth of July is a ride into another dimension right in Gays Mills. To locate the Bash, go to downtown Gays Mills and turn south off of Main Street onto South Railroad Street, and follow it to the end, where you will find the Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campground entrance. Or just follow the signs. Ample parking is indeed available.
Sooner than later, you will find yourself dancing and hooping it up. Many topflight country bands will be on stage performing at the heart of this natural, wooded amphitheater along the Kickapoo River.
Great country music will be served up live starting at 3 p.m. until around midnight on Friday, July 5 and 4 p.m. until midnight Saturday, July 6. Bruce Larson & The Rocky Mountain Band kick off the musical lineup on Friday followed by the handsome John Maison, and then the delightful headliner Rachel Holder. You might know her by her recent hit single ‘Five Days.’
On Saturday, be wowed by outrageous local talent Mike McAbee, followed by the elegant Kari & Billy. The event climaxes with the Paul Avers Band on Saturday night.
Bash guests will enjoy a wide array of food items—so you needn’t pack a lunch. Beer will be served on site and soft drinks will also be available.
Stump Dodger Bash guests are encouraged to start the morning right with breakfast at Red Apple Inn. Halver’s Town Tap and Last Call Bar and Grill will be serving a wide variety of libations if you need a short sneak into town. All three businesses are located in the 300 block of Main Street.
One can tent and camp at the Stump Dodger Campground; and the wonderful aroma of campfires will help light your night.
Activities are planned for children and adults alike starting Thursday for the Fourth of July with the Kickapoo Canoe Race at 2 p.m., as well as bags and volleyball games. The Gays Mills Fire Department will present the annual fireworks show start at dusk.
Buy your weekend passes by Saturday, June 1 for $30. Day passes are $20. Camping is available.
Children under 16 are welcome free of charge with a paying adult.
Please come on home and enjoy a celebration of country music, food, dancing, camping and great company. You know your heart has been tugging at you, and we’re happy to give you the excuse to go ahead and follow it. And, if you’re not from the area, this is a grand opportunity to let the people of Gays Mills hook you in! It will be hard to resist making the Fourth of July weekend at Stump Dodger Bash one of your annual traditions.
If you have any questions, please call the Showen Company office at 608-735-4929 and check out the Stump Dodger Bash website at www.stumpdodgerbash.com. Or feel free to shoot us an e-mail at
We’ll see you at the Third Annual Stump Dodger Bash Fourth of July weekend in Gays Mills.