MENNO SET TO ROLL OUT RED, WHITE AND BLUE CARPET
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
There will be something for everyone in Menno this weekend as the community rolls out the red, white and blue carpet for its traditional Independence Day celebration. The weekend will double as the Menno-Olivet All-School Reunion, which will add an additional layer of fellowship and fun to the festivities.
Saturday, July 3 will be a big day in Menno because it includes the parade in the morning and the all-school reunion and dance later in the afternoon and into the night.
Here’s everything else you need to know.
Bean Bag Tournament
Action actually begins on Friday, July 2 when the Menno Mad Frogs host a bean bag tournament at the Lily Pad. This is for people age 18 and older and is double-elimination with a cash payout. Teams should preregister by calling Macon Oplinger at 605-999-4990. Registration ends at 2 p.m. on Friday with the tournament beginning at 3 p.m. Concessions will be available; no coolers are allowed.
Saturday will start with a road race in the morning that includes a 5K, 10K and one-mile run/walk. This is for people of all ages, with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the fire hall; the race will begin at approximately 8 a.m. A T-shirt is included with the registration fee.
A Kiddy Parade will begin at 10:50 a.m. on Saturday with the traditional parade set to start at 11 a.m. from in front of the Menno school on Fifth Street. This year’s theme is “God Bless America,” and all floats are to register in front of the city-school auditorium by 9:30 a.m. The route will follow Fifth Street north to Heil, then east to High, south to Poplar and eventually past the Menno-Olivet Care Center.
Following the parade there will be several food options: the Menno FFA will host a pork barbecue by the city-school auditorium while the American Legion will be serving brats at the Legion Hall located at 301 S. Fourth Street.
For the kids
Kids between the ages of three and 10 are invited to participate in the games and relays on Saturday afternoon. The activities will be from 1:30 to 2 p.m. at the south end of the Menno City Park. In the event of high heat, the activities will be moved indoors, although treats would still be distributed inside the city-school auditorium. The Menno FCCLA members are planning and conducting the activities and the Menno Community Club is sponsoring the treats.
Children age 12 and under are also invited to the Pioneer Acres grounds (home to the Menno Power Show) from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday to enjoy free rides on the carousel, ferris wheel and barrel train.
One block of Fifth Street, from Poplar to Heil, will be blocked off for the Menno-Olivet All-School Reunion which runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Registration will be in front of the old fire station immediately south of City Hall, with food and picnic tables available downtown. Alumni are encouraged to bring their own chairs.
Tours of the Menno school building will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Guests are invited to enter the facility through the main doors. Also, the all-school reunion committee is accepting donations to update the class pictures poster displays, which will be available for viewing by the registration table in the old fire station. Donations may be made there from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
A street dance will cap Saturday’s activities. It will run from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in front of Rooster’s/The Schnitz. Music will be provided by the band, Bullet Proof.
Quilt on display
Something else that will likely be of interest to Menno area residents is a quilt that will be on display in the front window of the old Smidt Furniture building on the west side of Fifth Street. The quilt is at least 67 years old and belonged to Emma (Gran) Aisenbrey and features a series of embroidered blocks by 20 residents from across Hutchinson County, including Menno residents Gertie Mettler and Nora Aisenbrey.
The quilt has been in the hands of Randy Wipf following the passing of Emma Aisenbrey’s son Ron, who died on May 10 of this year. Ron had requested the quilt be given to the Menno Heritage Museum, where it will be located following its display over the weekend.
Then on Sunday …
Sunday will be a quieter day in Menno. The traditional Patriotic Worship Service will take place in the city park beginning at 10 a.m. Those attending are asked to bring a chair. In the event of inclement weather, the service will move into the old city-school auditorium. Rev. Michael Hecht of the Salem Reformed Church will bring the message, with an offering going toward ongoing expenses at the Menno-Olivet Care Center.
Baseball will mark the evening hours, with the Menno/Scotland Trappers hosting Wessington Springs in American Legion action starting at 4 p.m., and the Menno Mad Frogs hosting the Freeman Blacksox in amateur action starting at 7:30 p.m. A fireworks display will light up Menno after the game.