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The second year of Cruisin’ for a Cause benefiting the Park Hills Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels program had a large turnout throughout the all-day event Saturday.

The day began with the opening ceremonies where a letter from Mildred Lee — the person who came up with the city name, "Park Hills" — was read. She said that she thought of the name while reminiscing about the hills she and her peers would regularly traverse while making their way to different parts of town. When voted on, the two primary choices for the new city name came down to "Heritage Hills" and "Park Hills." Another popular name was "Central City" but ultimately, the name Park Hills was agreed upon.

In a gesture of proposed longevity as a new city, a time capsule was buried when Elvins, Esther, River Mines, and Flat River consolidated in 1994 to form present-day Park Hills.

City Mayor Daniel Naucke led the opening ceremonies Saturday and invited all of the city council members, both past and present, to join him on stage for the opening of the box. Also welcomed to the stage were citizens who were instrumental in the consolidation of the cities including Anna Kleiner who led a campaign for the city's consolidation. 

Standing beside the mayor while the box was open was was the first mayor of Park Hills, Lenny Henson.

Inside the time capsule, buried in 1994 was a wide variety of time relevant memorabilia. News articles pertaining to the consolidation were inside the capsule as well as a Central Rebel homecoming T-shirt from 1993. Inside the capsule was even one of those free TV guides that used to be distributed at Country Mart.

All the items contained in the time capsule will be on display at Park Hills City Hall in the coming days. Three citizens have been chosen to place new items inside the box which will be buried once again in the near future and will be opened in 2044.

Throughout the day there was no shortage of activities, vendors, food, and other festivities.

The dunk tank, benefiting the Park Hills K-9 program and the senior center, was very popular among event-goers and many people turned up to try their hand at hitting the bullseye and dropping city officials into the reportedly very cold water.

Many different contests and shows began early in the day.

Barbecue grills were fired up around noon for the second year of the Pit Boss Competition, ran by the Park Hills-Leadington Chamber of Commerce, where grill masters went head-to-head for a chance to win a $500 prize and, of course, bragging rights.

The overall winner of the competition was Jill Queen. Winners in the four categories were named and included Jeremy Buxton coming in first for his ribs and burnt ends and Queen placing first in the chicken and dessert categories.

Ms. Senior Park Hills 2019 was crowned. Charlene Grubbs took home the title this year. She said that she was very grateful to live in Park Hills and her only wish is that all of her loved ones get saved, referring to accepting Christianity.

The talent contest had 16 participants and featured singers, comedians, and conceptual artist.

Singer Alysann Cooper won the talent contest. Other participants who placed were comedian Linda May and Poi spinner Levi Wirtz. Placing first in the child's category of the talent competition was singer MaKena Wright. Cooper took home a $250 cash prize and Wright received two $100 gift certificates.

The winner of the beard and mustache contest this year was Jeremy Brooks. The contest this year had four contestants including the mayor of Leadwood, David Henry. Danny Wideman took home second place in the contest and coming in third was Matthew Brown.

Becky Buxton, of PawFection Pet Grooming, said that the dog show was a great success this year. A Chow named Axel won the prize for Most Handsome Boy while a Dachshund mix named Shadow won the best costume, wearing a pumpkin outfit. The Prettiest Girl prize went to a Great Dane named Kitty and the prize for Waggiest Tale went to a Pit/Shar-Pei mix named Max. Best Odd Couple went to a Great Dane named Havoc, and a Chihuahua named Henry.

The event wrapped up with cars cruising Main Street, doing burnouts to the gathered crowd's delight. Main Street's sidewalks were packed with spectators hoping to see unique cars pushing their tires to the limit. 

Senior Center Director Holly Buxton said that they wanted to thank all of the many sponsors and volunteers that helped make the event possible. Buxton also said that she was extremely grateful for all of the help that she received from the city in planning the event.

Planning for next year's Cruisin’ for a Cause event is already underway and organizers have even bigger plans for next year.

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Staff Writer

Reporter, Staff Writer, and Photojournalist

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