Family Fun Day planned in Morenci 07.21.10

Written by David Green.

A car show, a corn hole tournament, kids games and a bicycle show, live music—they’re all part of a family fun day planned downtown by the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce Aug. 21.

After a Chamber member complained about a lack of weekend entertainment in the community, a committee was formed to consider possible activities. The August car show is the first in what could become a series of monthly events.

Gaylord Hill of the Adrian Street Cruisers was invited to the Chamber’s July 9 meeting to discuss his group’s presence at the Morenci event. The Cruisers charge $300 to set up the show. The profits from their shows help pay fuel bills for elderly people in need of financial assistance.

The Cruisers provide a DJ and sponsor a 50/50 drawing and a hula hoop contest. The Chamber can organize other activities, such as a corn hole tournament, motorcycle show and pedal tractor contest.

In other Chamber business, vice president Jennifer Blaker noted that a wireless microphone was donated by Nicole DiCenso and a tripod was created and donated by Roth Fabricating to support the Chamber’s sound system.

The group discussed discount shopping cards that would be sold as a fund raiser. Chamber members would be able to buy space on the card.

DOWNTOWN—Five Chamber representatives attended the July 12 city council meeting to seek permission to schedule the car show event downtown from noon to 8 p.m.

Jennifer Blaker said that Mill Street could be used for the event, but the Chamber’s first choice was Main Street by blocking traffic from the stoplight to west Mill Street.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool expressed concern about redirecting truck traffic through side streets. Police chief Larry Weeks shared that concern, not only for semis but also for large agricultural equipment.

It could be particularly challenging if the tomato harvest has begun north of town, he said.

The streets are in better shape now than when Parker Chemical was open, Chamber member Kent Deatrick said, and “hundreds of trucks a day” drove down the side streets.

“If we block Main, we’ll need to get proper signage,” Vanderpool said. “It’s not a simple matter of putting up barricades.”

“I don’t have the staff, unless somebody wants to pay for it, to put someone down there to manage that traffic,” Chief Weeks said.

Somebody would have to come in to erect and remove barricades, he said, noting that it would probably be the responsibility of the city workers.

“It’s only a few hours on a Saturday once in the month of August,” said Chamber member Trulla McClain.

“I’m supportive of what you’re doing,” Chief Weeks said, “but like in a parade, I call all my staff in and it costs a lot of money to do that. I’m sure no one wants to do that here so it’s a little different scenario.”

“Because we all have volunteered our time to put something into this community, what if we ask for some volunteers from the city workers and the police department. We’re volunteering; we’re not getting paid,” McClain said. “Is that a possibility?”

“You can always ask them,” Chief Weeks said.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the request to close a block of Main Street.

If a stage were to be erected just west of the stoplight, two entrances to Morenci Deli would be blocked, Chief Weeks said.

“Has anyone contacted the Deli?” he asked.

A member of the Chamber’s entertainment committee said that contact was not yet made. An audience member suggested blocking the street west of their drive.

  • 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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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