Small Town Celebrations Have Changed!

We had our annual celebration in my community this weekend. It was called Kernal’s Day. Many people worked very hard to make this happen this year. I wasn’t one of them. I would like to clarify before I write the rest of my opinion that I am not criticising what this committee pulled off this year. I give them (the committee) credit that try to pull off a celebration with few volunteers and many chiefs, meaning community members (including me) that try and tell them what to do.

The problem I have is my memories. I have memories of Kernal’s Day in the past. I have been attending Kernals Day for as long as my 62 years will allow me to remember. The Kernal’s Day I remember served Sweet Corn and Barbequed Chicken at the park after the parade. The parade consisted of floats that were decorated so it made them special. They had themes. If there were cars and trucks in the parade they had streamers or they were decorated too. They were advertising their business but they made an effort to make it interesting to look at. It wasn’t just a candy throwing machine. Many of the these floats were not made by businesses but were sponsored by businesses. In fact when we had kiddie parades many of the kids tryied to copy the floats by making floats with chicken wire and kleenexes stuffed in the chicken wire. Somewhere I have photos. When I find them I will post them.

Of course at the park we had a carnival and we had many, many food stands not just stands put out by the local churches and businesses. At night there was a variety show brought in from out of town. People would go to the grandstand and there would be a lot of entertainment from musicians to magicians. It would feature people not from the area but shows that we could not find locally. We would sit in the grandstand and watch the fireworks.

Bingo was another favorite. At the Bingo stand instead of money there were prizes to pick from. Rows and rows of prizes. If we could win that tv or toaster oven we would play and play.

Kernal’s Day was a time for kids to hang out, teens to hang out and adults to hang out. The city was buzzing with people and traffic. Those are my memories of what Kernal’s Day was like. People would come home for Kernal’s Day and meet and greet old friends.

I was missing all that this Kernal’s Day. There was no corn, there was no Barbeque Chicken after the parade. I did not even find a vendor that sold greasy corn dogs. They had a stand that had mini corn dogs but it wasn’t the same. I was able to get a greasy Corn Dog to satisfy my taste at Relay For Life this year.

I also missed the prizes while playing Bingo. Money is nice but there is something about looking at those prizes on the table in anticipation of winning that makes you want to keep playing all day.

I missed the pretty floats and the bands in the parade. Our local band was outstanding. Although we are rural and the guys (grandsons) loved the farm machinery a few bows might have made a difference.

Those are the things I missed. I didn’t volunteer to help. I didn’t express my opinion because I didn’t have the energy to help. Neither did a lot of people volunteer to help. Those that did did an excellent joy of representing our community in a time where it is hard to make things happen with a celebration.

We don’t have a canning factory anymore so we have no corn. It is hard to get bands to come to a parade anymore. Kids are busy and it costs money to bring in good bands. Small businesses don’t have the money to do this anymore. We can’t get carnivals anymore. They aren’t reliable on coming to small towns. When they do they cost quite a bit of money and I am not sure the rides always look safe.

The group that organized this Kernal’s Day did a good job with what they had to work with. A local bank puts on a free lunch to kick off the festivities. Our Depot Museum hosted events as well. The Car Show on main street was a success and it was fun watching the parade of old cars and showing our grandchildren the cars we had as teenagers. They decided that made us Vintage. There was so much candy thrown at the parade. The kids enjoyed it. Yes our celebration has changed. Perhaps it is time we embraced that change.

I imagine there would have been strife and controversy if the name Kernal’s Day got changed to something else but maybe it is time for us to embrace that change also. It is also a time for us to support those that give of their time to have a celebration. I can criticize but as long as I am not willing to put money or work where my mouth is I feel that I do not have the right to do that. I do know the frustrated feeling of putting my heart and soul into a project and not being appreciated for what we have contributed. Thank you Kernal’s Day committee.

I do have dreams about a new Kernal’s Day called something else. We should have a giant food fest along with a big arts in the park with juried artists. We should add to the car theme like they did this year with showing American Graffitti. We should have a contest amoung businesses and whoever wants to enter for the best themed float around a Car Show theme since we have so many cars and trucks in the parade anyway. Let outside vendors come in with food, sponsor food contests and also have the local food tents. If we had many visitors the competition in food would bring in business for those local stands. People come to eat and taste food. That is just my dream. I am a dreamer. I am idea person. I am a

English: A hand-dipped corn dog on a stick, se...

English: A hand-dipped corn dog on a stick, served from a traveling food vendor trailer at Rochesterfest in Rochester, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

background person these days. Just sayin.

Just sayin “Thank You.”


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