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

Another Farmer's Day to never forget


Tonia Copeland

From left, Caleb Luikens, Don Olson and Alex Engstrom march in the 2016 Farmer's Day Parade.

Although the Friday night of Farmers Day started with a downpour and caused quick rearranging all over town, by the end of the weekend a great deal of fun and excitement had been enjoyed by all.

According to Farmer's Day chairperson Assunta Calise, the Friday night soup supper at the Senior Center was well attended and very likely ran out of soup before calling it a night.

The Goodhand Theater showed 'Ice Age: Collison Course' and was a nearly packed house giving the kids something to do the night before the parade for a change.

Festivities at the Event Center were forced to move indoors, however the band, Driving Dynamics, and beer garden regrouped inside where people where able to enjoy themselves free from the rain.

Woody's Root beer from Greeley handed out free samples of their small batch root beer and cream soda in the dance hall. The Craft Fair had just short of a dozen participants with everything from home baked goods to crafts. Even Cub Scout Group #31 was there plying their sales.

Cruise Night, a generally enjoyable event was hardly effected by the weather. Calise said, "A lot of people were seen cruising in the rain. It was quite fantastic, it made me smile."

Saturday morning arrived chilly but clear and sunny, warming as the day progressed.

The Panhandle Coop Pancake Feed at the Eagles was a huge hit, serving their fresh, warm pancakes and sausage, coffee and orange juice to just over 500 people before the parade.

The annual Fun Run had nearly 100 contestants running and walking either the 2 mile or 5 mile loop. Top winners for the 2 mile run included Shelby Thurin of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., in the 13-19 age bracket, followed by Kimball's own Chantel Malson in the 10-12 age bracket and Alex Engstrom, of Kimball, in the 20-29 age bracket.

For the five mile run, as longtime sports writer Tom Southard predicted, Andrew Knutsen of Lakewood, Colo., took top honors. Knutsen was followed by Colby Lukassen of Kimball and Jessica Harvie of Harrisburg - all three top runners were in the 20-29 age bracket.

For a complete listing of winners, please see page B2.

The 90th Annual Farmers Day parade started on time and without a hitch. The overall consensus by many was that it was not only the best parade in years but certainly much longer. According to Calise, Sandy Dominguez was quite amazing this year, securing more than 50 entries before the cut off date with several more joining after the deadline.

Although local businesses have been feeding farmers, ranchers and locals a free hamburger feed for more than 90 years, the population is not what it once was in the 70's, when estimates reached close to 6,000 hamburgers. Volunteers served just under 2,000 last year and around 1,600 this year. These days however, the hamburger feed at 2nd and Webster was not the only source for a free meal as both the Senior Center and volunteers at the firehall provided free hamburgers to those of superior age or physically unable to stand in line.

The third annual pie and cake baking contest sponsored by Keep Kimball Beautiful had 24 participants last year had only six contestants this year. Four cakes and three pies were entered, a regrettably lesser amount than previous years. Ashley Layher won the pie contest with a pumpkin cream cheese pie and Julie Miller won the cake contest with a caramel delight cake. KKB director, Larissa Binod intuitively felt the need to have several more cakes baked at the last moment and it is a good thing she did as all were sold to parade goers after the hamburger feed with all proceeds going towards the recycling center.

A popular new addition to the weekend was the mechanical bull at Beer and Loathing with an estimated 150 adult riders and 50 children taking their first bull ride over the weekend.

Events at Gotte Park took off around 11 am with kids games, train rides, a horseshoe tournament and the Old Tyme Shooting Gallery by Sonny and Kathy Porter being a huge success.

The Demolition Derby at the Fairgrounds were well attended, according to organizer Doug Lukassen. The entire grandstand area was almost at capacity, with nearly 800 spectators watching 22 contestants smash 'em up.


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