Florence gearing up for Labor Day weekend bash

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
A performance by singer Frankie Vallens and a community melodrama on Monday evening will climax this year’s Labor Day Celebration weekend in Florence.

The annual event begins Saturday and continues through Monday.

Vallens was a well-known nightclub singer in the late 1960s and early 1970s whose signature song was “This Magic Moment.” He also recorded “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and “She Cried.”

Vallens also had parts in the movies “Ice Castles” and “Every Which Way But Loose.”

“If you had a chance to see his show here two years ago, you already know you won’t want to miss it this year,” said Scott Zogelman, a member of the planning committee. “If you didn’t get to see it, then you really need to be here this year. I have seen shows in many places, but very few make you feel this good.”

Immediately following Vallen’s concert will be the ever-popular melodrama. This year’s story is “Snooty and the Beast.”

“Larry Timm and his cast and crew have been working hard and stressing much to make this year’s show one of the best,” Zogelman said.

The weekend begins with city-wide garage sales Saturday morning. A breakfast to raise money for the local libraries is available at the senior center beginning at 6 a.m.

The Barnyard Olympics previously scheduled for Saturday have been moved to Monday afternoon.

Florence will close Main Street Saturday evening for a street dance. The DJ Doctors will provide the music and lights. No glass containers will be allowed into the even, and a celebration button is required for admission.

Events are scheduled all weekend, but the majority will take place Monday.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. At 12:30, Midwest Lifeteam, the medical helicopter from Wichita, will be on display at the corner of 6th and Barker streets. Dynamite Wanda’s anvil shoots are at 1:30 and 3:30 on West 3rd Street. Last year’s big hit, the backseat-driving contest, will be at 3 p.m.

The final two events of the day will be in the school gymnasium at the top of 7th Street hill; a button is required for admission.

Buttons will be for sale at most events and at the door of the concert and melodrama.

Advance wristband sales for the celebration rides continue at Florence Market through Sunday. The store will also carry T-shirts, caps, and visors with the Labor Day logo. Buttons are available at most area businesses.

The planning committee has been working hard to keep the annual weekend celebration from becoming “old hat,” Zogelman said.

“We try to keep it from becoming stale by adding new events, but don’t want to loose any old favorites,” he said.

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