Festive Weekend 7.2

Written by David Green.

Morenci dodged the stormy weather last weekend for a successful Town and Country Festival.

As storms headed both north and south, only a brief shower Sunday afternoon sent Morenci Idol audience members heading for shelter. The remainder of the three-day festival went by under perfect conditions.

“I think everything went well,” said Sue Snyder of the festival committee. “

The number of people at Wakefield Park was often smaller without the annual softball tournament, but certain events drew a crowd.

“There were a few slow spots Saturday,” Snyder said, “but the carnival made good money and vendors didn’t complain.”

The Battle of the Bands drew followers from other communities and 366 votes were cast by those in attendance. The local band Kevlar was easily the winner by popular vote, but percussionist Zach Phillips had a hunch his band might do well since he had a family reunion in town for the weekend.

“There was a huge, positive response to that event,” Snyder said. “Kent Deatrick took over the entertainment spot and he handled it very well and very professionally.”

She and Deatrick both heard positive comments about the format, in which each of the nine bands played one song at a time. A variety of musical styles was presented as the crowd followed performances around the perimeter of the tennis court where the bands were set up.

The chicken barbecue sold out following the parade and a new event—a corn hole tournament—proved popular with 16 teams entering.

“It went over very well and people had a blast with it,” Snyder said.

“We actually had two tournaments,” said organizer Barb Foss.

Wes and Tyler Clark won the first round with six teams. In the 10-team second round, Matt Sewell and Shay Miller came out on top.

More than 70 children went through the child identification program offered by the Fairfield Masonic Lodge #125, in conjunction with the Morenci Kiwanis Club.

“Several people said how nice it was they offered that for free,” Snyder said.

The park filled up at dusk for the annual fireworks show, and then there was a little softball. With the main tournament in Fayette this year, an old guys vs. the young guys game was formed and a large crowd remained until the contest wrapped up around midnight.

Snyder knows there are other events competing with the Town and Country Festival for the last weekend of June, such as the Threshers’ Reunion, but committee members have decided in the past to stay with that date rather than change from year to year.

After taking a break for a few weeks, the committee will get together to evaluate this year’s event and consider changes for next year.

 As always, committee members are looking for new ideas and for new members to help plan and carry out the 2009 festival.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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