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.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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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