The Spring Fling in Florence is a fundraising event to benefit the city’s Labor Day weekend activities, according to organizers.
Trayce Warner, secretary, said this year’s event on Sunday also provided everyone with an opportunity to enjoy food, fun and fellowship.
“Any profits from Spring Fling go toward Labor Day,” she said. “This just adds a little bit more of a cushion for the events on Labor Day.”
Other than Spring Fling, the only way money is raised for Labor Day is by selling buttons, T-shirts, advertising and sponsorships, she said.
“Most of the entertainment (on Labor Day weekend) will cost between $600 and $1,000,” Warner said. “Some more than that, but none of the acts are seldom under $6,000.
Members of the Flint Hills Muzzleloaders Club of Florence were at the Spring Fling to promote Memorial Day weekend’s “step back in time.”
Lynette Schmidt of Marion, a member of the club, said members will be camped and ready to show visitors the life and times of the 1840s era.
“We want to open this up to others,” Schmidt said. “People will learn to cook in a Dutch oven outside, build a fire, shoot a muzzleloader, throw a tomahawk or just fish the Cottonwood River.”
The cost is $5 per family to pay for toilet facilities.
Jason Griggs, owner of Portable Pets in Leon, said he enjoyed his first visit to Florence since purchasing the petting zoo and horses. Griggs said he bought the business for his children and nieces.
“I want them to learn the business so that when they are in college, they can do this part-time,” he said.
In addition to visiting small communities, Griggs said he also has contracts at McConnell Air Force Base, Bethel College, Newman University, Friends University and Wichita State.
“I donate as much as I can (to events) because some children aren’t aware of how to handle these animals and so it is educational for them,” he said.
“For me it’s important to give back to the communities—it’s more important than making a profit,” he said.
The petting zoo includes goats, rabbits, sheep, llama and zeboo, plus horses for riding.
Labor Day Committee
The Spring Fling Committee includes: Melvin Honeyfield, chairman; Warner, secretary; Melanie Grimmett, treasurer; Gabi Dye, Phoebe Janzen, Mary Jane Grimmett, Mike Warner and Tyson Grimmett.
Over a three-hour span, Spring Fling events included Mountain Man Rendezvous activities, a petting zoo, horse rides, a demonstration by Florence firefighters, several games, an auction and giveaways, a chili cookoff and a potato bar.