Hillsboro set to celebrate!

It’s going to be one wild time in Hillsboro this weekend as the city celebrates its 120th birthday, the annual Family/Folk Festival and an all-school high school reunion, and honors the sacrifice of its service men and women-all over a full four-day stretch, May 28-31.

Friday, May 28

Activities kick off Friday evening with the official opening of the celebration at Main and Grand at 9:04 p.m. That will be followed with a street dance featuring W.C. Edgar and his band on Main Street in Hillsboro’s downtown area. If it rains, the dance will move to the former AMPI building at Ash and Third streets.

Friday also marks the opening of a three-day carnival-which runs Friday through Sunday-put on by Ottaway Amusements. The carnival will be located just west of the Commercial Building on the Marion County Fairgrounds.

Saturday, May 29

Saturday is the big day for fun and celebration. The action begins with a fly-in breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Alfred Schroeder Field at the Hillsboro Airport. Some 50 pilots and planes are expected to participate. The public is invited to enjoy the breakfast and inspect the planes. From 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., the Eagle Med fixed-wing air ambulance is expected to be on display.

At 8 a.m., two events begin for the recreational minded. A three-person, 18-hole scramble golf tournament will tee-off at the Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course. Registration is limited to 22 teams.

Adjacent to the golf course, the Family Festival Run will begin in Memorial Park. The race will feature a one-mile fun run and five-kilometer race. Entrants need to meet at the Hillsboro Municipal Pool between 7 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. to pick up their race packets. All who preregister will receive a T-shirt; awards will go to the top three finishers in each age division.

At 10:34 a.m., folks will gather in downtown Hillsboro of the city’s 120th Celebration Parade, which will feature antique cars, organizational floats and HHS classes holding special reunions. Area veterans of World War II will be recognized during the parade to coincide with the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

At 9 a.m., the Hillsboro Family/Folk Festival will open its gates. The event combines a variety of events and entertainment for people of all ages at Memorial Park and the county fairgrounds, plus a celebration of the community’s ethnic past on the grounds of the Mennonite Settlement Museum.

A popular attraction at the Family Festival is the classic car show that opens at 9 a.m. Plaques will be awarded to the winning entries at 3 p.m.

Another popular attraction will be the air show that begins at 1 p.m., when the Kansas State Parachute Club will be dropping in with American flags streaming.

The main event will be the Kenneth Stout Air Show, which will be performing aerial stunts for the crowd at 1:30 p.m., 2:50 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. Spectators are urged to bring lawn chairs and find a spot at the Hillsboro Sports Complex, adjacent to the airport, for viewing the air show. You can also purchase $1 tickets for a chance to win a short airplane ride with Kenneth Stout immediately following the final act. The Oklahoma Barnstormers will demonstrate their radio-controlled aircraft at 1:50 p.m. and 3:10 p.m.

The Family Festival will also feature games and activities for children, a quilt show on the fairgrounds, an antique-tractor exhibit and, in the Foods Building, a model-train layout sponsored by the McPherson Train Club. “Glimpses of the Past” will feature the items and fashions from Hillsboro’s history.

Throughout the day, participants can experience a taste of pioneer life at the Mennonite Settlement Museum grounds.

Area musicians will be performing 1870s Mennonite music and the Schnigglefritz Band will play. Retired car dealer Irv Schroeder will be telling stories in Low German, the dialect of the pioneers, and museum personnel will be giving tours of the Peter Paul Loewen House (formerly known as the Adobe House) and the 1876 Friesen Mill Replica.

A variety of pioneer crafts will be demonstrated on the grounds, including blacksmithing, rope-making, sausage stuffing, zwieback and porzlke making, corn shelling, cream separating and butter churning.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hillsboro Museums will be serving food in the Scout House in Memorial Park. The menu features German smoked sausage. Cinnamon rolls and coffee will be served in the Visitor’s Center.

The Hillsboro High School All-School Reunion will begin with a banquet at 6:34 p.m. in Robert C. Brown Gymnasium (entrance along A Street at Madison). Prior to the banquet, HHS alums and their families can tour the school from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A highlight of the evening will be an audiovisual presentation prepared by the HHS Technology Class, which will feature photos from the school’s past. The show also will be presented at the street dance on Friday night.

The day ends with a bang when Austin Fireworks of Wichita, a leader in the fireworks-display industry, will put on pyrotechnic show at the Sports Complex, beginning at 9:34 p.m. The aerial displays will be set to music, for an extravaganza of sight and sound.

In case of rain, the show is scheduled for Sunday at the same time and place.

For the first time, Memorial Day weekend activities will include events on Sunday. Guests are welcomed to attend local worship services, but at 4:04 p.m., the 125-voice Mennonite Men’s Chorus will perform in concert in the Tabor College gymnasium.

That evening, the excitement steps up a notch with a demolition derby set to begin at 6:04 p.m. The event will be organized by the Marion County Fair Association, which holds a successful derby every year during its August fair.

On Monday, the public is invited to attend the annual memorial service for Hillsboro military veterans. The program begins at 10 a.m. in Memorial Park.

At that time, World War II veterans will be recognized once more to coincide with the national remembrance.

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