By Tina Kitt
The Wauneta Breeze
With a delayed wheat harvest still underway in the Wauneta area, this year’s annual summer celebration — originally timed to mark the end of wheat harvest — will cut it close.
There have been a few past celebrations where harvest trucks joined the parade flow at the south end of main street near the elevator. This might be one of those years.
The Wauneta Chamber has a full four-day line-up of events in store this weekend, with events kicking off today (Thursday).
A few changes to take note of from the Harvest Fest line-up announced earlier this summer — the Kripple Duck skeet shoot has been switched to Sunday afternoon instead of Friday, the horseshoe tourney at Tommy’s has been moved up to 3 p.m. with registration starting at 2:30 p.m., and there will be no presentation of the comedy Hee Haw.
A full slate of information about this year’s event can be found online at www.wau-netaharvestfestival.com
July 23—Harvest Fest begins
The fun will kick off on Thursday, July 23, with a pancake, sausage and egg supper at the Wauneta Senior Center from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a Guitar Hero showdown at 7 p.m. at the Chateau Theatre.
July 24—Friday’s events
Friday, July 24, will offer an action-packed afternoon and evening of family fun, beginning with the first of six weekend performances of The Diving Fool Show, north of the Wauneta swimming pool at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Pool Olympics and diving contests from 3-5 p.m. The Diving Fool will give his second performance at 5 p.m. and his last Friday performance is slated for 7 p.m.
An event popular with the kids last year — the Bounce House, sponsored by Frenchman Auto — will be back this year from 3 to 7 p.m. While the Bounce House is rocking, kids carnival games like the nickel scramble, ducks and ring toss will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Beginning at 6 p.m., sports fans and athletes will have a chance to pick between two events — the sand volleyball tournament near the tennis courts or the men’s softball round-robin series of games between Wauneta’s B&D, Imperial’s Brophy Electric and the Champ Inn crew from Champion.
While all the sporting fun is underway at the park, the Wauneta/Palisade Lions Club will serve their famous Walking Tacos at the east park shelter area from 5 to 7 p.m.
July 25—Saturday’s full slate
You may want to bring your lawn chairs downtown with you as you will likely need them at various times throughout the day Saturday—during the parade, water fights, Diving Fool show and at the free barbecue.
Wauneta’s annual Yucca Run will start the day off at 7 a.m. and the Fun Run at 7:45, with both starting at the Wauneta Senior Center. Registration for the Yucca Run begins at 6:30 a.m.
The Walk to Health on the park walking path will be held from 7-9 a.m. with sign-up at the east park shelter.
BWTelcom will serve a free appreciation breakfast of pancakes, sausage and eggs from 7-9 a.m.
Parade line-up starts at 8:30, with the parade set to begin at 10 a.m.
This year’s parade theme is “Serving Wauneta With the Hands of Time,” honoring grand marshals Ray and Lela Hamilton for their service to the community.
All floats must be in place by 9 a.m. by the school parking lot to be considered for judging.
From 9:30 to 11 a.m. the Wauneta-Palisade volleyball team will zip along main street serving root beer floats.
The Digital Photo Contest display at Champa will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The theme of this year’s photo contest is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” There will also be a category for general interest entries. For more information on entering the digital photo contest contact the folks at Champa.
The Sweet Shop will offer a hamburger/hotdog feed from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nickel beer at the Good Times Bar begins at 12:30 p.m.
Registration for the Wauneta Volunteer Fire Department’s annual water fights begins at noon, with water-fighting action getting underway at 12:30 p.m. on main street. Age groups include 8 to 11; 12 to 15; and 16 and older.
Free swimming at the Wauneta pool begins at 1 p.m., at which time another Diving Fool performance is slated north of the pool. Other performances on Saturday will follow at 4:30 and 7 p.m.
From 1:30 to 3 p.m. ice cream sundaes will be available at the Wauneta Senior Center, followed by bingo at 3:30.
At 3 p.m. Tommy’s Sports Club will begin their Harvest Fest Horseshoe Tournament in their outdoors courtyard, with registration beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The WP FFA will launch the ducks in their annual fundraising duck race at 3:15 p.m.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the Wauneta Chamber will serve their free barbecue at the park’s east shelter. Members of the Wauneta United Methodist Church will be selling homemade pie and ice cream as well as drinks.
At 6 p.m., the winners of the digital photo contest will be announced as will the winners for the raffle drawing for $100 and $50 in groceries at Walgrens Super Market sponsored by Walgrens and the Wauneta Chamber. Money from this raffle drawing will help cover the expense of Harvest Fest entertainment like the Diving Fool.
From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. the Chamber will hold their Harvest Fest dance at the Wauneta American Legion Hall featuring the music of the Hastings, Neb., band “Sling Shot.”
July 26—Sunday’s closer
Harvest Fest will wind down on Sunday, July 26. The day will begin with church in the park at 10:30 a.m., with Pastor Judy Dye leading the worship service.
Dinner at the Wauneta Senior Center will follow, with the noon meal served from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.
A skeet shoot is planned at 4 p.m. south of town at Kripple Duck Adventures, headquartered at the Gene and Dotty Bartels farm.
The Harvest Fest schedule is subject to change and all times given are mountain time.