Eating, family fun and reminiscing are a tradition at the Old Settler's Picnic in Uniontown on Labor Day weekend, and this year will be no exception, according to organizers.
"The Uniontown community is extremely proud of its annual Old Settlers celebration held on Labor Day weekend without interruption for the past 108 years," Kenny Holt, event chairman, said.
When the event started in 1905, it was a community picnic in the park. It has grown through the years to a three-day event.
Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, "There is no place like home," is a fitting theme for those who have roots in a small rural community. The theme highlights that idea for the 2013 weekend celebration, "Home Sweet Home."
"I love the theme this year, Home Sweet Home. That's what we feel about it," Goldie Arndt, said. She and her husband are the parade marshalls. Their story will appear in Saturday's edition of The Tribune.
New, this year, is a family movie night in the park at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31. Two movies for the family to enjoy together are "Space Jam," starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny, and "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken," a black and white Don Knotts movie, Rhonda Dewitt, who is spearheading the movie at the park, said. Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Uniontown High School's Junior Class will be selling soft drinks. First Missionary Baptist Church will provide movie concessions, with proceeds going to the church's building fund. Wilkinson Drywall and Construction are the sponsors for the movie.
Another new addition this year is the hog roast following the community church service at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1. The meal will be pulled pork sandwiches, chips, desserts of all kinds and drinks. The free-will offering will go to the First Missionary Baptist Church's building fund.
A talent contest will also be a new feature this year. The preliminary round will be at 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 1, at the gazebo in the city park. Finals will be at noon Monday, Sept. 2, at the gazebo.
Age categories are under 6 years old, 6 to 12 years old, 13-17 years old and 18 and older. There will be cash prizes for each age category. Register by Aug. 31 at Union State Bank and Union Station both in Uniontown, or on Facebook. Bring accompany music or instrument to the preliminaries.
A biscuit and sausage gravy breakfast is being added to the schedule. The breakfast, made by Sally Johnson, Patty Johns and Lucille Ward, will be served at 7:30 a.m. on Labor Day in the park. Juice will also be served. The cost of the breakfast is $2 with proceeds going to the Old Settler's Committee.
After a hiatus of three years, the Don Dennis Memorial Golf Tournament will be at Woodland Hills Golf Course in Fort Scott Saturday morning. This event is sponsored by the Uniontown Ruritan Club. Contact Ron Eldridge for more information at (620) 224-0329.
Continuing from prior years are the following events:
* Aug. 31- There will be a kids fishing derby from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the city pond, east of the junior high school. Age groups are 7 years old and under, 8-12, and 13-16. No alcohol is allowed at this event, which is sponsored by the Kansas Wildlife and Parks. For more information, contact Marty DeWitt (620) 224-7438.
* Aug. 31- The Uniontown Saddle Club's 27th Annual Ranch Rodeo will be at 7 p.m. in the rodeo arena, west of town. Local teams are encouraged to enter by Aug. 26. Contact Wayne Hall at (620) 363-4206 for more information.
* Sept. 1- There will be coffee and donuts at 10 a.m. prior to the community church service at 10:30 a.m. in the city park. This year the Uniontown United Methodist Church is leading the service. Bring lawn chairs. For more information, contact Connie McKee at (620) 644-8177.
* Sept. 1- At 6 p.m. the 47th Annual "Old Settlers Youth Rodeo" will be held at the rodeo arena. Register and enter events from 4 to 5:30 p.m. For more information call David Fuhrman at (620) 363-1806.
* Sept. 1- At 6:30 p.m. in the park, there will be a gospel music program featuring hometown musicians. Bring lawn chairs. For more information, call Mary Bruner at (620) 224-4135.
* Sept. 2 - At 7:30 a.m. at the city park, food and craft vendors are asked to register for spaces around the town square to sell their wares. Registration is due before Aug. 23 and can be sent to Rhonda DeWitt, P.O. Box 76, Uniontown, KS. 66779. Space with electricity is $20, and no electricity is $10. Weapons are not allowed to be sold. DeWitt's number is (620) 215-1939.
* Sept. 2 -The annual baby contest starts at 9 a.m. at the city park gazebo. Babies must be under 18 months old. Prizes will be awarded. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Contact Becky Shinn at (620) 223-9532.
* Sept. 2 - Ident-A-Kid, sponsored by the Masonic Lodge, will be from 9 a.m to noon at the community center.
* Sept. 2 - On Monday, the parade line up starts at 9 a.m. at the Uniontown High School west stadium parking lot. Registration will be on-site with parade volunteers. Judging is at 9:30 a.m. Questions prior to the parade can be directed to Hershel George at (620) 756-4481. Parade prizes will be given for the following categories: best church float, best theme-oriented float, and school floats. Antique tractors and cars will be reimbursed for entry into the parade at $10 each. ATV's must be cleaned and decorated to be in the parade.
The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. with Goldie and Larry Arndt as grand marshals. Daniel Johns is the master of ceremony. Bands, Shriners and saddle clubs are welcome. NOTE: all horses need to be unloaded at the rodeo arena, west of town.
* Sept. 2 - There is a separate children's parade which will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Methodist Church for registration and judging. No gas powered vehicles are allowed. Prizes will be awarded for each category: best theme, best decorated bike, best child costume, best pet and best battery operated.
* Sept. 2 - There will be a silent auction at the community center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with proceeds to benefit All-American Cheerleaders.
* Sept. 2 - At noon is the traditional picnic in the park with many types of food for sale. Smoked pork will be served by the Uniontown FFA to benefit an Aleah Sutterby Memorial Math Scholarship. The Methodist Church will be serving chicken dinners, with other food vendors adding food choices. The school's cheerleaders will be selling soft drinks throughout the day.
* Sept. 2 - The talent show finals will be held at noon at the gazebo.
* Sept. 2 - Starting at 12:30 p.m., there will be street contests on the south side of the town square. The UHS football team will be leading them. Contact Chad Hays for more information at (620) 224-6010.
* Sept. 2 -At 1 p.m. at the gazebo, there will be recognition of the old settlers, with prizes given by Mary Kay's Place, an antique store on the town's square.
* Sept. 2 - At 1:30 p.m., there will be contests of all kinds for the whole family. Prizes will be awarded. Bethel Community Church will be leading these. For more information, call Greg Stine at (620) 223-5142.
* Sept. 2 - The talent showcase will be at 2 p.m. at the gazebo.
* Sept. 2 -Also at 2 p.m. will be the drawings for cash prizes. Tickets for the cash prizes are on sale by the Uniontown Ruritan Club throughout the day until 2 p.m. Winners need not be present to win.
No alcohol is allowed at any event in the town for the weekend.
For more information check the Facebook page at Uniontown Old Settlers Picnic.