DESLOGE – Day two of the 25th annual Desloge Labor Day Picnic drew big crowds who were treated to good music, good food and great memories. Organizers said the turnout thus far, has been of record proportions.
“We jumped out on Friday night and had a record crowd,” said Desloge Chamber of Commerce Treasurer Leroy Spradling. “The music went great. Everything is up and running. We expect the crowds to continue to get even bigger for today and Monday. We invite everybody out to have a good time.”
Chamber President Debbie Kester said the crowd on Saturday continued to get bigger as the day went on.
“Throughout the day we keep getting more and more people,” Kester said. “Right now the chamber’s bratwurst stand is doing great. We are so far keeping up with the demand.”
While everyone was having a good time at the picnic, Kester pointed out that everyone is walking around with a heavy heart.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are on the Gulf Coast,” Kester said. “Something we just discussed is collecting money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We have various places at the picnic where people can make donations to the American Red Cross. Right now, in addition to giving money, giving blood is critical. We are in the process of trying to get a blood drive set up during the picnic.”
Spradling said when everybody arrived at the Desloge Park Saturday morning, the talk was all about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“Everyone was asking ‘did you see the news’,” Spradling said. “A lot of people don’t think we are getting aid down there fast enough. When you have that many people, it’s tough. It kills me when someone calls the people down there refugees. These people are Americans just like you and me, not refugees from another country. These gas prices are either going to help us or hurt us. Either the people who travel this weekend are going to stay home and come to the picnic or they are just going to stay home.”
Chamber Secretary Carol Coulter said the number of booths is the most the event has ever had.
“We have a total of 102 booths,” Coulter said. “There is plenty for everybody. We had to do a new configuration with the booths this year because we have so many. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation.”
Desloge Mayor David Kater said the crowds the Labor Day Picnic attracts is great for Desloge businesses.
“When the people come to the picnic they go right by our businesses,” Kater said. “They can see first hand what our town has to offer. Right now, our gas prices are the lowest of anywhere in the community. Hopefully, that trend will continue.”
Saturday’s events were highlighted by the “Labor Day Idol” competition. Participants sang karaoke to their favorite tunes before a large crowd and a panel of three judges. The contestants competed for a top prize of $300.
Jody Coffman of Farmington won the competition with a rendition of B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone.” Lori Dickerson of Farmington finished second. Jeff Womble of Farmington placed third. Christopher DeClue of Park Hills finished fourth and Chris Wiles of Desloge placed fifth.
In the horseshoe tournament the team of M.L. Schrum and Les Schrum placed first, Chris Ward and Shannon Ward finished second and Ronald Hall and Danny Parilon placed third.
Today’s activities will begin with a youth rally from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the pavilion. The First Freewill Baptist Church of Park Hills is holding the rally and a community worship service.
Registration for the Wiffle ball tournament will start at 9 a.m. with play beginning at 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per team. There will be two divisions, including a 15 and under division and a 16 and up division.
The Little Miss and Master Competition will be held at 12:30 p.m.
G and L Karaoke will be playing music from noon until 1 p.m. and Canyon will perform from 1-5 p.m. Kids Zone, sponsored by the Daily Journal, will get under way at 2 p.m. A street dance will wrap up the day’s festivities from 7-10 p.m.
The parade leads off Labor Day. Lineup will begin at 8 a.m. behind the North County Middle School. The actual parade will start at 9 a.m.
The antique tractor show will be held from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The volleyball tournament begins at 11 a.m. The cost is $25 per six-person team. All teams are co-ed.
GTO will close out the event with good time oldies from noon until 5 p.m.