Okay, so…what’s a little rain (well, maybe it was torrential), 80 mile an hour winds the night before (so, yeah, it got a little windy), trees down all over town (hey, a new approach to…landscaping!) and no power plus restricted water usage (ahhh, power—schmower, shower—schmower). Not a problem. Don’t worry about it. After all, “the show must go on”, right?
I mean, come on, we’re talking about the Maine Street Bash.
I mean, come on, we’re talking about the Maine Street Bash.
In true pioneer spirit, valiant volunteers and vendors gathered Saturday morning on Maine Street, lent a hand and spread their wares to continue with what is evolving in to a great tradition in fundraising for the Crow Luther Cultural Events Center.
Yup, the Maine Street Bash was held despite some pretty daunting circumstances. And, best of all, it was a success.
Instead of staying at home and fretting over the storm that had passed the night before, let alone the forecast that another storm might hit later on, hearty folks from the county and surrounding areas did their part, as well. Entire families showed up at the event, ready to browse among the variety of items for sale, grab some lunch with friends, play one of the many games that were available and listen to some great music under a bright blue Western sky. It doesn’t get better than that.
Glibness aside, there’s a better than even chance that other event organizers and participants would have opted to either postpone or cancel the Bash in hopes of better circumstances on another day. But that thought didn’t occur to Betsy Barnett, chairperson of the CLCEC Board and the main event organizer. “We decided to go ahead with it,” she said. “We’ve always held it right about this time. People really look forward to it, and the vendors put in a lot of work to come. We’re going to give it our very best effort, and, hopefully, people will have a great time.”
From the look of things on Saturday afternoon, it was exactly the right call.
Of the 32 original vendors who had paid their fee to be part of the event, 30 were in attendance, including an artist selling her wonderful mixed-media art, a photographer from Syracuse selling canvas prints of her work, a couple selling from their collection of antiques, a young mother and her son selling 31 Bags and filling bags for children with cancer at Children’s Hospital, a family selling cute gift items, a boutique section with the coolest, hip young women you’d ever want to meet, a lady selling beautiful jewelry, and a young woman from the east end who has taken value added ag to a whole new level. There was also a very talented face painter, a one of a kind baker, and young women with a passion for reading that was passed on to the children and parents who came to see her.
And, of course, the museum was open with volunteers anxious to talk about the community’s history to those who took the time to step in and study the outstanding displays.
The kids in the KidZone were kept busy and happy with some terrific games, obstacle courses, hoop contests, water slides, and “bouncy houses” brought to the street by the First Christian Church, Future Leaders & Learners Childcare Center, ESTech, Praise Community Church, and the coalition for area childcare director Julie Witt from CLKECC plus other young volunteers who donated ime and money to helping the cause and making a great atmosphere for the kids. And, yes, the Sheriff’s Department was kept busy….harness on…harness off…. The rock wall had climbers on all three sides all day long.
Vendors in the food court included burritos and nachos, a wide assortment of fresh Thai food, street tacos, delicious barbeque and freshly made burgers.
As is also becoming a tradition, the music throughout the day was provided by talented locals, including Jamie Crockett, his daughter Echo, Jared Weeks, and Alicia James.
There was an addition to this year’s entertainment. Kristina Uhland and “The Eaglettes” made their debut performance on stage, dancing to a couple of lively songs while the young dancers performed their newly learned moves.
As afternoon began to head toward evening, Rhett Uhland and his band entertained the crowd of fans who had gathered specifically to hear them perform. In a two set performance that included a mixture of Rhett’s original music plus a few well-chosen covers, the band gave a great performance to a very enthusiastic crowd.
Unfortunately, the National Weather Service had contacted the Office of Emergency Management early Saturday morning to give a serious warning about the high probability of more threatening weather headed Kiowa-way around 6pm that evening. Given the severity of the storm that had passed through the area less than 24 hours before, local county officials did the only responsible thing they could do: they informed Barnett that the event would have to wrap up the closer that time approached. Barnett understood the decision and passed on the instructions, as needed.
Luckily for Eads (although, not so lucky for other areas in the region), one storm took a northern path while another storm headed south, leaving Eads with no more to deal with than a few drops of rain and an occasional gust of wind.
Not to be undone by yet another surprise in circumstances, the “partiers partied on”, sipping on beers or other beverages while other folks sat around and talked and still others got involved in a rousing game of cornhole.
And that brings us right back to a fact that was observed over and over this past weekend.
These are the people of the High Plains. Enterprising entrepreneurs. Vivacious vendors. Celebrated cooks of colloquial cuisine. Energizing and efficacious entertainers. Delightful dancers. Last Saturday, they formed a brief but beautiful brigade of bold and brave bashers who embraced the community spirit of the High Plains, the same spirit that originally gave birth to the Crow Luther Cultural Events Center in the first place.
What’s a little rain? So, it got a little windy. Big deal if there was still no power. We’re all together. We’re all in this together. So, somebody plug in the generator, tell the band to grab their guitars, toss down a few bucks for a bottle of beer or water and let’s have us some good times on Maine Street on a summer Saturday evening.