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Harvest Fest hits this week in Wauneta PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 17:02

By Josh Sumner

The Wauneta Breeze

Clear your schedule and call your friends because Wauneta’s summer celebration is finally here. This year’s festival is packed with as many fun activities as ever before, and it all kicks off tonight (Thursday) with supper and a show.

The Wauneta Senior Center’s pancake, sausage and egg supper runs from 5 to 7 p.m. MT tonight, with free-will offerings being accepted at the door. Following supper is a community melodrama for those wishing to experience a night out at the theatre.

This year’s melodrama, “The Ballad of Gopher Gap,” begins at 7 p.m. at the Chateau Theatre, and is directed by Wauneta-Palisade music teacher Aaron Behrends. The theatrical event will be emceed by Chris Bartels and Hayden Pollmann, and will include the following actors: John Christner, Tyler Crowell, Charlie Smith, Liz Noler, Aaron Behrends, Clint Majors, Keri Sutherland, Kelsie Skelton, Peter Holmes, Deb Rathe and Jennifer DeWester.

The musical musings of Jim McKinney and friends, as well as a solo by Dawn Doetker, will keep the crowd entertained during intermission. The entire performance is expected to last about 90 minutes, and costs $2 per person. Children ages 5 and under will be admitted for free.


Friday filled with fun for the whole family

A full slate of Friday events start at 1 p.m. at the Chateau Theatre with the first weekend showing of the children’s movie, “Cars 2.” It should be noted that despite the best efforts of Chateau Theatre staff workers, the movie will not be shown in 3D on the new digital projection system. Circumstances outside local control have delayed the installation of the new system. The movie will cost regular admission price during its three showings over the weekend.

After the movie, kids will want to hustle to the park for an afternoon of pool and park activities. This year’s Pool Olympics will run from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Wauneta Pool, with events such as diving contests and races on the itinerary. Children ages 5 and under are also encouraged to attend this year’s Pool Olympics for games and activities in the splash pool.

The park will definitely be the place to be Friday evening. As soon as the youngsters dry off from pool events, those ages 2-10 are invited to participate in “Mini Field Day,” held in the park outside the Wauneta Pool at 5 p.m. The softball toss and 25-yard dash are among the events planned.


There will be plenty of food and snacks available for those in attendance at the park. The Lion’s Club will be serving walking tacos under the park picnic pavilion from 5 p.m. to 7. Also being served under the pavilion will be free snow cones from 3 to 7 p.m., with free-will donations going toward money-raising efforts for Heritage of Wauneta.

This year’s Walk to Health is scheduled to run from 5 to 7 p.m., with registration also taking place under the park picnic pavilion. The event is sponsored by Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, which encourages exercise for people of all ages.

The sand starts to fly at 6 p.m. at the park’s sand volleyball court, with softball also starting at 6 p.m. at the baseball diamond. This year’s softball tournament will feature three teams vying for the title in a round-robin format. The softball teams include B&D, Brophy and the “Phanting Goats.” Those wishing to register a team for sand volleyball can call Kristi McNair at 308-883-4894, though registration is almost full.

One of the most anticipated acts of the weekend starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Chateau Theatre when funny man Dan McGowan takes the stage. McGowan is a comedian from Aurora, Colo., whose hilarious show is fit for people of all ages. The family-oriented comedy act costs $5 per person.

As if that wasn’t enough, Tommy’s Sports Club will also be hosting a dance in their courtyard with DJ Will Engell playing a variety of pop music. The dance begins at 8:30 p.m., and is free of charge.


Saturday sure to be a blast

The fun starts early and ends late on Saturday, with the annual Yucca Run setting off Saturday’s events. Those wishing to register need to be at the Wauneta Senior Center at 6:30 a.m., with the 5K run and 3K walk each beginning at 7 a.m. Cost is $17 for those ages 13 and above, and $8 for those ages 12 and under. A 1-mile fun run will start at 7:45 a.m.

This year’s Yucca Run is being held as a memorial to the late Ted Grimm, who was a running and outdoors enthusiast, as well as being one of this event’s biggest advocates.

Meanwhile, those in search of a warm meal to start the day can head to the building directly east of the BWTelcom main office where the phone company will be serving a complimentary breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Come enjoy pancakes, sausages and eggs on BWTelcom at their shop building on Quachita Street.

The biggest spectacle of Harvest Fest, its annual parade, begins in downtown Wauneta at 10 a.m., with those wishing to enter a float needing to lineup at the Wauneta School at 9 a.m. The parade will open with a rendition of the national anthem by Sara Behrends and Dawn Doetker, with the men of the American Legion of Wauneta leading the parade.

This year’s parade grand marshals are the residents and staff of Heritage of Wauneta, who will be represented by Edna Christensen and Bud Einspahr. The theme of this year’s parade and celebration is, “Celebrating Our Heritage: 125 Years.”

Also starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning will be the viewing and voting of pictures in this year’s digital photo contest, at the Champa Group office in downtown Wauneta. The voting ends at 3 p.m., and the winners will be announced later in the evening at the community barbeque feed. Also, those wishing to view and vote on pictures online can do that tomorrow (Friday) beginning at 3 p.m., by visiting

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the Sweet Shop will be serving hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs. The eatery recently installed air conditioning, so it might just be the best place to cool off from the Saturday sun.

A smattering of activities follow the conclusion of the parade, which is tentatively set to wrap-up at 11 a.m. Young kids can head to the lobby at Valley Bank and Trust to dive for cash in the Nickel Scramble. Those a little older should also visit Valley Bank and Trust, so they can get in on this year’s Scrabble Run.

Kids in grades kindergarten through sixth can participate in the Scrabble Run, in which they’ll be given a list of Wauneta businesses to visit. They’ll receive a letter at each stop, and when they return, the child with the best word will win a prize.

Big kids are invited to participate in a new event, known as the Poker Run. Head to Harchelroad Motors in Wauneta at 11 a.m. on Saturday for your chance to sign up. With the recent announcement that road construction will be busy near Enders Dam for much of the coming month, the route has been shortened. Drivers will be asked to make stops between Wauneta and Imperial, at which time they’ll receive a playing card. The person to return to Harchelroad’s with the best poker hand will win a cash prize.

It’s sure to be a wet afternoon, with water fights and free swimming on the schedule. Head to the north end of Tecumseh Street and grab a hose to take part in this year’s water fights, as hosted by the Wauneta Volunteer Fire Department. Registration for water fights begins at noon, with the competition starting at 12:30 p.m. Age divisions for the fights are 8-11, 12-15 and 16 and older. Meanwhile, open swimming for people of all ages will run from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Wauneta Pool.

Nickel beer will be served at Good Times Bar beginning at 12:30 p.m. to coincide with the start of water fights.

A free family event about the history of Orphan Train starts at 2 p.m. at the Chateau Theatre, as read by Nebraska author Charlotte M. Endorf. Endorf is this year’s winner of the Nebraska Mother of the Year Award.

Tommy’s Sports Club’s annual horseshoe tournament starts at 3 p.m., but make sure to get there at 2:30 p.m. to register. Cost of entrance is $20 per team.

At 3:15 p.m., the ducks will be launched for the Wauneta-Palisade FFA’s annual duck race down the Frenchman.

Saturday evening’s good tidings begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of Frenchman Auto when members of the Wauneta Chamber of Commerce will be serving a barbeque dinner for free to the public. Members of the Wauneta Methodist Church will also be in attendance, selling homemade pie and ice cream. Make sure to bring your lawn chair.

This year’s rendition of the pedal pull has been moved from the park tennis courts to Main Street in Wauneta, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration for the event begins at 6 p.m., and is open to people ages 2 and up. The top three girls and top three boys in each age division will qualify to compete at the state fair meet in Grand Island.

As the evening begins to cool down, Chateau Theatre will air its second weekend showing of “Cars 2,” beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening. At 9 p.m., the CRB Band, from McCook, takes the stage at the Wauneta Legion Hall, as part of this year’s Harvest Fest Dance. To get into the dance, you must be at least 15 years old. Admission is $5 per person.


Things wind down on Sunday

As everyone attempts to catch their breath on Sunday morning, the slate of events gets lighter.

The Sweet Shop will be serving a dinner buffet beginning at 10:30 a.m. The final weekend showing of “Cars 2” at Chateau Theatre marks the end of the weekend at 7 p.m.

For more details about all the Harvest Fest events, point your web browser to, and also be sure to check out the schedule on Page 8 of this issue of The Breeze.