The outlook was dubious at best for the 2016 Chief Sarcoxie Days (CSD) with rain hitting the midway Thursday and Friday.
The outlook was dubious at best for the 2016 Chief Sarcoxie Days (CSD) with rain hitting the midway Thursday and Friday. However, faith that good weather was coming paid off with Saturday’s sunny skies saving the day for Sarcoxie’s annual festival.
“We were a little late getting everything started this year, but after it did get started everything fell in place,” noted Helen Sageser, the CSD chairperson, “Except for the weather the first two days, it’s turned out to be a good festival. We had a great parade this year too.”
Don Triplett, Sarcoxie’s mayor added, “We’ve rearranged the carnival just a little bit so the static noise on the square is softer and there’s more breathing room for people to set up their booths. I think we’re heading in the right direction.”
Dozens of booths with wares and eats circled the square. “We began setting up all the booths Wednesday night and opened everything up on Thursday night,” said Gretchen Carter, the booth space coordinator, “This year we’ve got more than 40 booths with all kinds of food.”
The traditional start of Chief Sarcoxie Days which includes the introduction of the Chief and Squaw suffered a slight rain delay. After the presentation of the Colors by Sarcoxie’s Girl Scouts it was made public that Bill and Gloria McNeece were this year’s honorary Native American royalty.
“We didn’t have a clue,” said Bill McNeece after receiving his headdress. His wife added, “I was surprised too, but I knew what it was going to be after they began reading the nomination letter written by our son.”
Mother Nature got up early to make Saturday a perfect day for people to participate in the festival. Clear skies with puffy white clouds added to the old-time festival atmosphere on the town square inviting all to enjoy the day.
Two of the usual events on the square saw near record participation. According to Helen Sageser, the CSD chairperson noted more than 60 competitors in the Baby Contest. The annual washer tournament was the other recipient of greater participation with 12 teams vying for top tosser honors.
Just a couple of hours before the much anticipated parade, the 2016 CSD Princess was announced. Of the six young women in competition for the crown, Willow Jones, a senior at Sarcoxie High School and sponsored by Project Graduation 2016 was proclaimed the princess.
“It feels amazing,” said Jones, “I owe a lot to my mom who worked hard with me to get the votes and all the people who pitched in to support me and Project Graduation.”
Of course the day’s highlight brought out Sarcoxie’s finest in the parade that started on Center Street and wound around the square. It did not matter what age anyone was as the bands and floats brought smiles upon all the faces and the thrill of a parade in their hearts.
“It was a good turnout today considering the rains we’ve had,” said CSD visitor Aaron Parsons, “We’ve had some good bands here too.”