• Last modified 2144 days ago (Sept. 4, 2013)


Florence celebrates Labor Day in style

Staff writer

Heat did not deter many from enjoying the festivities at the 76th annual Florence Labor Day celebration.

Jeff Hedrick was the winner of the “King of the Hill” soap box derby. Nathan Shields took second place, and Gracie Mackey came in third.

Later Saturday, children interacted with a number of friendly animals from Portable Pets petting zoo. There were horse rides available, too.

Many people also partook in face painting, glitter and henna tattoos, and caricature drawings that were part of the festivities.

The Tallgrass Express String Band entertained patrons Saturday evening with a variety of original music and cover songs. Audience members heard everything from bluegrass tunes and folk ballads to Celtic melodies, western standards and more progressive swing numbers.

Later that night the Riker Band drew a large crowd to the street dance. Audience members danced to the feel-good music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s that the band played.

A large number of kids participated in the sidewalk chalk art and the bike-decorating workshop which had a record number of participants Sunday afternoon.

An event which is becoming more popular was the 1860’s vintage baseball game and ice cream social. Seventeen gallons of ice cream were served. The concession stand had a never-ending line all night long.

The Harvey Boys defeated the Chase County Preservationists 12-10.

Approximately 20 to 25 children and adults participated in a watermelon seed-spitting contest which was held between the game and the 25-minute fireworks display. The farthest distance a seed traveled was 17 feet 4 inches.

The annual Labor Day parade Monday recognized past and present firefighters.

Winners in the parade float contest were:

  • 1st — Florence United Methodist Church.
  • 2nd — Janzen Goat Farm.

The award for best antique car went to Richard and Cathy Dirks of Hillsboro.

After the parade, Aaron Riggs won the $141 dollar button drawing and Richard Stoup won the 55-inch flat-screen TV given away by the Florence Fire Department.

“This is the first time since I’ve been on the committee that we sold out of T-shirts,” Labor Day Committee Chairman Melvin Honeyfield said. “Overall everything went well. We received good comments on the parade and the event as a whole.”

Meanwhile, some people spent the equivalent of a full workday at the horseshoe pit in Unity Park as part of the annual Labor Day celebration.

The turnout for the Bryan Harper Memorial Horseshoe Pitching Contest was up this year from 12 to 17 teams.

The winners were:

  • 1st — Bob Hartnagle and Mike Warner, both of Florence.
  • 2nd — Heath and Charles Tajchman, both of Marion.
  • 3rd — Bret Dannenfelser and Lee Shipman, both of Florence.

Winners received bragging rights, but all players were treated to a cookout, free of charge, that featured barbecue ribs, brisket, chicken, and hotdogs.

Other winners were:

Labor Day 5K Run

  • 1st — Aaron Yoder, Peabody
  • 2nd — Evan Yoder, Peabody
  • 3rd — Jessica DeForest, Wichita

One-mile fun run

  • 1st — Aaron Yoder, Peabody
  • 2nd — Corin Parmley, Cedar Point
  • 3rd — Cooper Bailey, Marion

Cow Chip Bingo

  • Janet Robinson and Bill Robinson, each won a $100 cash prize.

“Barnyard Olympics”

The Marion/Florence FFA in conjunction with the Florence Labor Day committee hosted the annual FFA Barnyard Olympics competition.

Participants competed in events including a tricycle obstacle course, a washer toss, hay bale stacking and a bale toss for height, a steer roping contest, and a wheelbarrow obstacle course.

Girls’ division

  • 1st — Lauren McLinden
  • 2nd — Kayla Kroupa
  • 3rd — Krisde Robinson
  • 4th — Aidan Cairns
  • 5th — Morgan Radtke

Boys’ division

  • 1st — Peyton Heidebrecht
  • 2nd — Landon Pedersen
  • 3rd — Remington Putter
  • 4th — Cody Parmley
  • 5th — Nick Meyer

Turtle race

A number of box turtles were collected for the turtle race this year. Participants numbered their respective reptiles by writing on tape and sticking to their shells.

Then everyone gathered around a circle painted in the grass. The turtles were placed in the center and set free.

The first one to reach the perimeter was the winner.

Jacob Smith’s turtle came in first place. Dakota Patterson’s turtle came in second place and Aubrey Craig’s turtle was third.

The kids’ games results followed the turtle races. There were three events: the dash race, the gunny sack race, and the shoe drop.

Results are as follows:

Dash Race

Pre K-Kindergarten

  • 1st — Abby Thalman
  • 2nd — Zayden Janzen
  • 3rd — Rusty Slater

1st and 2nd Grade

  • 1st — Jenna Sokoll
  • 2nd — Cadence Craig
  • 3rd — Ava Case

3rd and 4th Grade

  • 1st — Heidi Grimmett
  • 2nd — Tristen Dye
  • 3rd — Kaleb Fetrow

5th and 6th Grade

  • 1st — Devan Ephramus
  • 2nd — Jeffrey Hedrick
  • 3rd — Lonnie Patterson

7th Grad and up

  • 1st — Corin Parmley
  • 2nd — Evann Heidebrecht
  • 3rd — Corinn Sokoll

Gunny sack race

Pre K-Kindergarten

  • 1st — Brighton Deimer
  • 2nd — Tyler Hallaey
  • 3rd — Abby Thalman

1st and 2nd Grade

  • 1st — Jenna Sokoll
  • 2nd — Landon Dye
  • 3rd — Hailey Hedrick

3rd and 4th Grade

  • 1st — Amy Gayle
  • 2nd — Kalea Craig
  • 3rd — Tristen Dye

5th and 6th Grade

  • 1st — Jeffrey Hedrick
  • 2nd — Devan Ephramus
  • 3rd — Lonnie Patterson

7th Grad and up

  • 1st — Evann Heidebrecht
  • 2nd — Corinn Sokoll
  • 3rd — Corin Parmley

Shoe Drop

Pre K-Kindergarten

  • 1st — Shyann Harris
  • 2nd — Abby Thalman
  • 3rd — Brighton Deimer

1st and 2nd Grade

  • 1st — Cadence Craig
  • 2nd — Jenna Sokoll
  • 3rd — Ava Case

3rd and 4th Grade

  • 1st — Tristen Dye
  • 2nd — Heidi Grimmett
  • 3rd — Nathan Newell

5th and 6th Grade

  • 1st — Aubrey Craig
  • 2nd — Sebastian Carranza
  • 3rd — Jeffrey Hedrick

7th Grad and up

  • 1st — Evann Heidebrecht
  • 2nd — Corrin Sokoll
  • 3rd — Allen Patterson

Last modified Sept. 4, 2013