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Postponed Labor Day event creates additional weekend fun

DESLOGE — Despite hurricane rains that threatened to derail this year’s Desloge Labor Day Picnic, the event’s coordinator says there were a lot of fun activities enjoyed by children who took part in the picnic’s first-ever Kidzone events, and there are still some activities to come.

The outdoor family movie, which was cancelled due to the rain, will now be shown this Saturday after an added activity geared for grownups.

“From 6 to 8 p.m., the chamber will host a street dance sponsored by TNT DJ Service,” said Desloge Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Donna Masson. “This will be followed by the family movie, “JOURNEY2 – Mysterious Island,” sponsored by U.S. Cellular. Be sure to come early because the chamber will be selling brats and hot dogs!”

Looking ahead, Masson also wanted to let people know about a chamber-sponsored event taking place in Desloge next week.

“A Citywide Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6,” she said. “The fee is $5 to be listed and $7 to be pinpointed on the map. The deadline for being part of the listing is Thursday, Sept. 27. The maps will be for sale at the chamber and at city hall after 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, through 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5. (On Friday the maps will be available only at city hall.)

Masson admits she went through a wet “baptism of fire” during her first year of heading up the annual chamber-sponsored activities for the Desloge Labor Day picnic. While others might have seen their spirits dampened by the remnants of Hurricane Isaac that plowed through the area over the Labor Day weekend, however, Masson was able to ignore the clouds and look at the bright side of things.

“The Kidzone contests were a big hit,” she said. “Tim Edwards set up his DJ equipment and bubble machine and kicked it all off with a limbo contest. There was a ‘flood’ of kids who took part. Next, Desloge CBarn sponsored the hula hoop contest, providing both the hula hoops and the prizes. Who would have guessed the kids would be so good?”

Masson said the turtle race was a crowd favorite even though only five turtles showed up to race.

“Chase Nelson came early with his turtle, Willie (Nelson), and made leashes for all the others for the parade of turtles at which spectators judged Emma Nelson’s turtle, Boris, best dressed in his brightly painted shell,” she said. “Chase’s turtle ended up finishing the race in first place.”

Chase told Masson that Willie had been training for the month prior to the race, eating a healthy diet of grapes and tomatoes, in addition to taking regular walks on his special leash.

“We also had a genuine African tortoise in the race who drew a lot of attention,” said Masson, who admitted that despite the turtle’s pedigree, it wasn’t very fast.

“Following the turtle race was a water balloon toss and then about 60 kids showed up to take part in a money in the haystack contest that finished out the day’s events,” said Masson. “Belgrade State Bank donated the $150 in ones, fives, and 10’s that were divided among the three age divisions.”

She offered a “big thanks” to all the Kidzone sponsors: Williams and Sechrest Law Firm, Gary Romine for Senate, Walmart, C Barn, Tim Edwards DJ Service, Desloge Casey’s, Flat River Building Supply, Kevin Ball Auto Body Repair and Pasta House.

“We couldn’t have pulled it off without our wonderful sponsors,” Masson said.

She also offered words of praise for Leadwood Masonic Lodge 598 that sponsored this year’s Child ID event.

“They gave out child ID packets to the families of 258 kids — a record for the lodge,” said Masson. “They’ve told me they’re planning to return to next year’s picnic.”

Even though this year’s crowds were noticeably smaller due to the rain, the event was still well attended, especially on Monday when the rains had left the area and the sun returned. “The turnout for this year’s parade was excellent as usual and everyone who came out had a great time,” said Masson. “Our parade coordinator, Larry Gremminger, did a great job as always.”

Kevin R. Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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