Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
After days and weeks and months of planning and preparation, Kimball Days 2009 are now history.
In recent years, that second weekend in August has often been hot and humid. And we've had drizzle and rain, and even threatening storms. But I don't think we've had anything like the weather this past weekend. At least not in the last 10 years that I've been home.
What we lacked in man-made fireworks, nature more than made up for. By Saturday night at the Street Dance, nearly everyone was pretty tired (except for those who might have sneaked in an afternoon nap). Just about everyone had been awakened after 4 a.m. by the hail, torrential rain, and lightning that seemed to be right on top of us. Joyce Quast told me their rain gauge measured 5 3/4" for Friday and Saturday, with most of that coming early Saturday morning.
They didn't have to figure out how to play softball and volleyball underwater, but it was close. At about 9 a.m., some were still walking around the volleyball court in waders. But there were only a few delays and changes of venue. Amazingly, everything went on pretty much as planned.
Yet there were probably record numbers at many of the Kimball Days events. At least it was more people than most people can remember. (I haven't checked with Luvern Hinz yet, though; (he would be a good "final authority" on that.)
Every year, people come "home" to Kimball Days. No matter how long they've been away, it's always "home."
And this year in particular, it seems, there were more new activities and new groups involved than I can remember. What is so encouraging too, even in this economy, is that so many people turned out to support the various fundraising events. The food stands, the breakfast, the new "taco in a bag," and more. Not everyone came because they were hungry, either. People were coming out to support the various local groups and their efforts. This is fantastic! All those dollars, from local folk who work hard for their money, are going to work locally.
Another thing I noticed this weekend is that I kept running into the same people at many of the activities. That's part of life in a small town: we all wear a number of hats, and are involved in a number of organizations. So you might see a neighbor flipping hamburgers one night, serving breakfast the next morning, and hauling out trash that afternoon. "Many hands make light work," as the saying goes.
So here's to the hundreds and hundreds of people who turned out for the tournaments and parades, the contests and kids' activities, and who, frankly, spent a little hard-earned money here at "home" in Kimball.
And here's to the dozens of people who all worked so hard to make it come off so effortlessly.
Kimball Days 2009 may be history, but the hundreds of memories of it will live on a long time.
Congratulations to Kimball on a particularly great town festival!