Music, magic and fun headline annual Marion festival

With an estimated turn­out of 2,000 fans for the Charlie Daniels Band concert on Saturday night, organizers of this year’s Chingawassa Days are calling this year’s weekend festival a significant success.

“There are so many thank-yous that need to be said—to our donors, our sponsors, our volunteers, the community, the city of Marion, and everyone who contributes into making Chingawassa a success every year,” said Clayton Garnica, chair of the planning committee

Garnica said Daniels enjoyed being in Marion and seeing what such a small town can do when it is determined to make something a big success.

“We were thrilled to have been blown away by his performance,” Garnica said.

The Daniels crowd was one of the largest, if not the largest, turnout for the Saturday featured concert.

“The park was filled with all ages,” Garnica said. “All of this hard work we put in has paid off this weekend, and it’s almost surreal to see that so many people attend Chingawassa Days.

“It almost takes your breath away when you stand back and look at everyone in the park and how full it was.”

One local Charlie Daniels fan enjoyed personal interaction with the famous singer.

Kendra Henry of Marion fixed Charlie Daniels a meal of smothered steak, garlic potatoes, salad, green beans and pie.

“He also had four pizzas ready for him when he was finished with the concert,” Kimberly Young said. “Joshua (Hauck) and I were able to shake his hand before he got in his bus.

“His hand is so soft,” Young added. “I jumped up and down, I was so excited to shake his hand. He’s such a legend to America.”

Garnica also expressed gratitude to the members of the planning committee and their families.

“Thanks to the committee for their hard work and perseverance to make this festival happen, and for making my job so much easier,” he said. “And the families for all their continued support to their spouses and loved ones. We are one big happy family because family is what Chingawassa is all about.”

Cindy Griffitts (far right), winner of the pie-eating contest sponsored by FamLee Bakery in Marion, glances to her left to check the progress of one of the 20 contestants on Saturday afternoon.
Cindy Griffitts (far right), winner of the pie-eating contest sponsored by FamLee Bakery in Marion, glances to her left to check the progress of one of the 20 contestants on Saturday afternoon.
Games and fun

In addition to the Friday and Saturday night concerts in Central Park, Chinga­wassa included a variety of family-oriented games and activities Saturday morning and afternoon.

Among the winners:

• Allen Blosser and Jim Theas won the Horseshoe Pitching Tournament Satur­day morning, with Alec Burford and Charles Tajch­man finishing second and Mark Tajchman and Bryan Alexander placing third.

• Mitch Burnz won the Dar’s Texas Hold ’em Tour­ney on Saturday, with Rocky Hett finishing second and Kevin McGahee third.

• Cathy Strowig of Abilene won the age 9-and-older division in the Rhino Sculpting contest with Paige Ensey placing second. Abree Ensey won the 8-and-under division with Grayson Hett placing second.

“We look forward to start planning Chingawassa 2018 and are up for the challenge to improve it and make the festival more successful every year,” Garnica said.

2017 Dinky Duck Winners

Following are the winners of the Chingawassa Days’ Dinky Duck drawing this weekend.

(1) Kindle Fire HD 8, Janet Killough; (2) Carlson’s Grocery/Subway gift certificate, Tina Steele; (3) Kansas City Chiefs autographed photo, Kevin Craig. (4) Shop Vac, Lois Smith; (5) Marion County Hardware $25 gift certificate, Ryan Edmundson; (6) Two dozen golf balls, ARSI, Chris Costello; (7) $50 cash, Marty Mortimer; (8) Kan­sas Cosmosphere two free passes, Bruce George; (9) FitBit Blaze Watch, Donna Hamm; (10) Odds ’N Ends $25 gift certificate, Chris Sprowls; (11) Aunt Bee’s gift certificate, Sarah Olsen; (12) Applebee’s, two free meal vouchers, Lavonne Hannaford; (13) Rod’s Tire and Service $25 gift certificate, Denise Crabb; (14) Signatures Salon gift bake set, Carla Tharp; (15) Casey’s General Store $50 gift certificate, Addison Cooper; (16) Trace of Copper item, Tina Steele; (17) CB Baked Goods $30 gift certificate, Chris Sprowls; (18) Kansas City Royals tickets, Kim Helmer; (19) Hillsboro Busi­ness Basket (Norel Farms Bakery, El Lorito, Panda Kitchen and Tangles), Diane Richmond; (20) Miles By Design gift basket, Chris Costello. (21) Crafts­man tool set, Dalton Smith; (22) Carlson’s Grocery/Subway gift certificate, Kay Steele; (23) Fishing poles, Vivian Schroeder; (24) Scentsy Basket, Kelly Schafers; (25) $50 cash, Cynthia Fleming; (26) Bose Soundlink Revolve Speaker, Sarah Kenaston; (27) Shelter Insurance chairs, Jamie Norris; (28) Gambinos Pizza vouchers, Ashley Hoffman; (28a) Mini drone, Darin Neufeld; (28b) Mini drone, Roger Hannaford; (29) Two dozen golf balls, ARSI, Kelly Schafers; (30) Dewalt cordless drill, Belinda Skiles; (31) Odds ’N Ends $25 gift certificate, Janis Davis; (32) St. Luke Integrated Health gift certificate, Mitch Guetterman; (33) Dale’s Supermarket $25 gift certificate, Davis Mill; (34) Xbox One + Kinect, Janet Herzet; (35) Sedgwick County Zoo, two free passes, Lori Smith; (36) Pink Zebra $25 gift certificate, Helen Reznicek; (37) Miles By Design gift basket, Sue Evenett; (38) Unique Designs basket, Roger Hanna­ford; (39) Drone, Bev Reid; (40) Hills­boro Ford free oil change, Kevin Cronkelton; (41) Marion County Hard­ware $25 gift certificate, Linda Allison; (42) TC’s What not Shop basket, Alan Accardi; (43) Abilene and Smokey Valley Railroad two passes, Angela Albin; (44) Shelter Insurance gift bag, Mark Wagner; (45) Hillsboro True Value Hardware $50 gift certificate, Branda Maddox; (46) $100 cash, Tara Palmatteer; (47) Vizio 40-inch Smart TV, Colby Diepenbrock.

Chris August
Chris August
Christian music performers Chris Augst (top photo) and Moriah Peters took the stage Friday evening to a receptive crowd.
Christian music performers Chris Augst (top photo) and Moriah Peters took the stage Friday evening to a receptive crowd.