One month until Old Settlers

Partners in Progress and Master Gardeners will work on the flower bed around the Chester sign on the north side of town. Grant money helped pay for supplies.

It’s hard to believe, but the first celebration of the summer, Old Settlers Day, is just a month away, June 9.

Sponsors of the event, Partners In Progress, have been working diligently for the past few months getting ready for the Chester’s town festival. Most of the tried and true events will still be taking place, some with a few minor changes.

There has been a softball tournament in the past, but no one could be found to head it up again until this year. Dan Caffrey will run the tournament and concession stand.

The club has always tried to make Old Settlers a family event with activities for every age group—including youth. The kids’ games and petting zoo have been a big hit at City Park. This year, to help offset the costs of the games, a wristband will be purchased to participate in all the events all day long.

Events included in the cost of the $2.00 wristband are: a magician, face painting, tattoos, bouncy house, Kids Pedal Tractor Pull and smiley train.

The Tractor Pull will still take place behind the fire station. The change is that the Darrell Ruggebergs will not be in charge. After being in charge for nine years, the family turned over the keys to Mike Bielefeld and Gary Sunnes. The craft show/flea market/food vendors will still be located in City Park along with Tim’s Mobile Music. The firemen will have their brat stand at the station during the day and also a chicken barbecue in late afternoon at the Community Center.

The Barbecue Contest will be held again, but will solely be sponsored by donations given to the group and entry fees. Howard County Business and Tourism is not helping with expenses this year. Because of the added expense, there will only be three categories—beef, chicken and pork. There will not be a cowboy stew category. Prizes will be $75 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third. A People’s Choice award will also be given.

The dance will be held at the Community Center with Bruce Berringer Band performing.

T-shirts with a new design will be sold at Old Settlers.

• In other business, the group, along with local Master Gardeners, will be working on the planters at the welcome signs on either end of town. Grant money came from Howard County Community Foundation.

Chris Keller and Adam Hamilton will work on improvements and repairs at the ball diamond—another HCCF grant.

• A group from PIP will be participating in Relay For Life at Fillmore County Fairgrounds on July 13. Pam Wendel, Diane Drottz and Dawn Fairbanks are asking for donations and anyone willing to be part of their group.

• The next meeting is Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Chester City Hall.

If you like what Partners In Progress is doing, come to the meetings. If you don’t like what the club is doing, come to the meetings. All input and help is appreciated.

The meetings are not a huge crunch on your time as they last about an hour. The purpose of the group is to find ways to enhance all Chester has to offer. Anyone is invited to join.

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