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Lake City celebrates Western Days

By Staff | Jul 1, 2011

For the first time in years, Lake City’s Western Days celebration kicked off with a carnival, complete with rides and food vendors, near the town square on Friday night.




Farm News staff writer

LAKE?CITY – Scattered rain showers didn’t put a damper on the fun during Lake City’s 52nd annual Western Days celebration this weekend.

Nearly 190 people pre-registered for Lake Cityv°s two-mile Fun Run, and an additional 50 participants signed up on June 25, the day of the event. The Fun Run, which started at 8:30 a.m. on the west side of the town square, has been sponsored by Stewart Memorial Community Hospital for the past 27 years.

“Lake City has always had great community spirit, and I enjoy coming back to see family and friends during Western Days,” said Chris Johnson, a Lake City native who now lives in the Des Moines metro area.

Johnson was in good company as he participated in Stewart Memorial Community Hospital’s Fun Run, which started at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Nearly 190 people preregistered for the two-mile race, and an additional 50 participants signed up on the day of the event, which SMCH has sponsored for the past 27 years.

Many of the participants had come to Lake City the night before to enjoy a carnival, complete with rides and concessions, which helped draw large crowds to the town square.

On Saturday morning, the Lions Club hosted a pancake breakfast at the Community Building, and 35 vendors from as far away as Texas were registered to sell their food, crafts and other wares in the town square.

“This is a great turnout, because we usually have 15 to 20 vendors,” said Anne Reiter, coordinator of the Lake City Betterment Association. “Many of our vendors return year after year, because they like the people of Lake City and say that Western Days is one of their favorite events.”

Volunteers from Central School Preservation in Lake City sold the latest handmade miniature in the “Our Home Town” collection. This year’s 4-by-5 inch wooden replica featured Lake City’s Emporium Block, which was built in 1891 and housed a number of businesses through the years, including a Coast to Coast store and the Corner Grocery, before a fire destroyed the three-story building on Feb. 17, 1969.

“We started creating these miniatures in 1998, and they’ve become popular gift items, as well as a unique way to preserve local history,” said Linda Stotts, of Lake City, a CSP board member who noted that the Emporium Block is the 16th addition to the collection.

On Saturday afternoon, crowds lined Main Street to enjoy the parade, which included 60 entries.

Many families stayed to attend the Top Rail Saddle Club’s rodeo, a two-night extravaganza that attracted more than 300 entrants this year.

The fun continued on Sunday, when 16 teams played mud volleyball near Goins Park.

In addition, the Friends of the Library celebrated its 25th anniversary by serving barbecued pork sandwiches, loose-meat sandwiches and hot dogs for lunch, along with free cake and ice cream.

“Western Days is a great time to reconnect with friends and remind people about the vital role that the library plays in Lake City,” said Janet Dougherty, a Friends of the Library member.

Western Days’ many events reflect the pride that people take in their community, added Bill Albright, director of human resources at SMCH. “I just can’t imagine not having Western Days in Lake City in the summer.”

Contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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