Railroad Days 2014 will be June 24-29, but fundraisers for the festival have already begun and will continue in the months ahead. First National Bank hosted a wine tasting October 25, St. James Federal Savings & Loan will sponsor a pancake breakfast and pie auction Jan. 26, 2014, and there will even be a beer tasting event May 2, 2014, said Jim Neid, president of Railroad Days. He's in his ninth year running the show, but he was also part of the original committee that launched the festival nearly 40 years ago. “It's a good promotion for our city, and it draws people in,” he said. “There's lots of entertainment for all ages.” Jennie Firchau, executive director of the St. James Area Chamber of Commerce, concurred with Neid, calling Railroad Days “the biggest festival St. James puts on.” “It's very popular, and it has become quite a tradition for many families to come home (and reunite) for Railroad Days,” she said. “The committee knows what to do and how to pull it off well.” Neid said the festival always has spots open for volunteers, and this year is no exception. They need both a parade chair person and a grand marshal. The grand marshal position is a nominated post, and locals can write a brief statement as to why the person they're nominating deserves the honor. Those statements can be given to Neid, or dropped off at the St. James Chamber of Commerce; deadline is January 1. For the full story, including details on how to win a V.I.P. pass to W.E. Fest, please see Thursday's print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.