Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daniel Thompson

2013 Farmers Day considered a huge success


Jacob Misener

The 2013 Farmers Day Parade drew an array of floats and contestants as area residents lined the parade route on a chilly, sunny Saturday morning,

Saturday morning started off with a chill as the starter pistol went ‘pop’ in the distance and runners started trudging down the pavement of 2nd Street for the annual ‘Fun Run’.

The sound of feet pounding the pavement as the runners headed towards Gotte Park served as a gentle morning melody that resounded through Kimball.

As runners passed the corner of 2nd and Myrtle, their bodies appeared as mere silhouettes as they passed under the shade of the trees while the sun beat down on the train cars passing through town in the distance.

A crowd waited at the finish line by the post office and patches of residents lined the streets, yelling out words of encouragement to participants young and old as their drive started to decrease with the finish line seeming so far in the distance.

Older runners who had already finished up, returned to the pavement to run alongside the younger, less experienced runners, pushing them along to the completion of their task.

When all the runners had crossed the line and the cheering crowd had dimmed and dispersed, residents’ eyes turned to the stage erected in the middle of downtown on 2nd and Chestnut and prepared themselves for the festivities and celebration that was to be had this Farmers Day.

In the lull before the special recognitions of the Outstanding Farmer, Outstanding Homemaker, Parade Grand Marshall and the Farmers Day Queen and her attendants, the crowd trickling into the downtown area were treated to a square dance presentation put on by men and women, wearing suits and colorful dresses with big puffy skirts, from around the area who smiled and laughed as they switched from partner to partner as the music belted from the stage.

After the square dancers had finished and moved away from the center area, Kerry and Jeri Ferguson took to the stage to introduce the Famers Day Dignitaries to the crowd starting with Homemaker of the Year which went to Ella Mae Cederburg, who was born in Kimball.

Cederburg married her husband Roger, who graduated from Kimball High School in 1942, in 1945. While Roger served in the Army of Occupation in Germany during World War II, Cederburg taught in one room schools in Banner County.

Cederburg together with Roger raised six children: Jim, Karen, Rich, Betty, Sharon and Robert. While raising her children she could be found sewing their clothes, gardening, cleaning and attending all of their various school activities.

Shehas 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren and is very proud of her family’s accomplishments. According to Kerry Ferguson, Cederburg has “always been a wonderful and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and neighbor. She is very deserving of this award.”

Michael and Kinnie Reuter were announced as Farm and Ranch Family of the Year, both originally from Holyoke, Colorado. At the age of 17, Michael enlisted in the Marines, and after graduating from high school, he went directly to bootcamp.

Kinnie went to Aims Community College in Greeley, and received her associates degree in Graphic Technology.

Michael was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division in Camp Lejuene, North Carolina and spent much of his time deployed. On July 18, 1987 Michael and Kinnie were married and finished out Michael’s enlistment living in Texas, North Carolina, and one year living in mainland Japan.

In the spring of 1990, they moved to Kimball to pursue a career in farming. Twenty three years later, they are still farming and calling Kimball home. They have four children, one girl and three boys: Blythe, Tyson, Caleb and Isaac.

This year’s Grand Marshal, Glynn Felkins, served in the Air Force from 1958 to 1962. He was stationed in the jungles of the Phillipines for a year and a half then he was transferred to southern Italy, where the population was poor for another year and a half.

He and his wife, Mary Ann, purchased a small farmstead north of Kimball in 2001. In 2002, Ann moved onto the farm while Felkins was busy getting his fencing business transferred to the new owner. In 2003, Felkins joined Ann in rural Kimball County.

Currently, Felkins serves as the President of the Plains Historical Society and has spearheaded one of the organizations most profitable fundraisers, the 52 gun raffle, for the last two years. He also designed and installed the new fence around the old Junior/Senior High School, which is owned by the Historical Society.

During this time, the Farmers Day Queen and her attendants were acknowledged. This year’s queen was Kayla Lukassen, daughter of Marty and Barb Lukassen, with Laura Flores, daughter of Lauro and Alejandra Flores, serving as her first attendant and Courtney Hunsaker, daughter of Jared and Susy Hunsaker, serving as her second attendant.

After the dignitaries had been acknowledged by the crowd and given their respective awards, the residents of the town converged on 2nd Street, lining the sidewalks with lawn chairs as they eagerly awaited the start of the parade.

For the people who are unacquainted with the festivities and the vibrant life that still beats within Kimball, the parade showed that Farmers Day is the one day out of the year that the seemingly sleepy town of Kimball truly comes alive.

As decadent floats passed through the streets with city officials, county officials and business men and women throwing candy out into the crowd, little children excitedly dropped to the pavement, making sure to pick up every little, insignificant piece eager to experience the sweetness that will inevitably rot their teeth.

The Kimball High School band marched down the street wearing their official garb as they played the theme to the James Bond films, which most bystanders recognized and acknowledged with a slight smile as they passed by.

The Kimball County float moved along through the streets, depicting the different elements of the Kimball County flag, with a cardboard courthouse, cows, a windmill, and red letters spelling ‘125 years’, reminding residents of the 125th year celebration to be held later in October by the county.

While some floats were received with laughter like the Kimball Recycle Center float, which had its own Uncle Sam reminding residents that they want you to recycle, others were simply decorated to fit their cause such as the Coats for Kimball Kids float which was lined with racks of coats and kids holding up signs to remind all who saw it of the program and its cause.

However, silent reverence was shown to the military veterans floats, as residents took off their hats and saluted the veterans with their eyes filling with gratitude for the sacrifices and dedication that the men and women had shown in order so that they could enjoy the freedoms that make the American life so wonderful.

The parade also featured guests from around Nebraska, most notably the Mitchell High School marching band which played a lively tune while marching through the Kimball downtown, despite their football team’s defeat at the hands of the Longhorns the night before.

Yes, for those who believe that Kimball is dying, the parade certainly showed that it still very much has life in it.

After the parade concluded, the townspeople once again scattered to the different events with most lining up on 1st and Webster for the hamburger feed creating a crowd so large that one would think that lord himself had come to town.

The afternoon continued with kids games and rides at the local parks, the Grease Pole Contest which draws a decent crowd each year, and the Lawn Mower Races behind Main St. Market which is rather simple but very fascinating to watch as men and women speed across the dirt at speeds that would give some cars a run for their money. There was also a classic car and truck show held next to City Park, featuring vehicles that would make the most pious man envious of the owners.

As the afternoon winded down and the sun started to descend on the horizon, members of the town gathered on the fairgrounds to watch the demolition derby with young children standing on the outlying fences with painted faces as their faces showed a plethora of excited gasps and expressions as they watched the metal monstrosities crash into each other.

As the sound of twisted frames clashing rang through the fairgrounds, the sun set on Farmers Day 2013 and the quiet city of Kimball, much like the fictional town of Brigadoon, went back to sleep, ready to store up energy for the next celebration.


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