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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.

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