|Burgess Martin performs cover tunes as his alter ego|
Breakfast began at 7:00 am and was provided by The Lions Club. All donations received went to The Lions Club for special projects. There were cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy as well as orange juice and coffee. Braylin Martin, winner of this year's talent show, as well as Burgess Martin, provided musical entertainment during breakfast and before the parade. Breakfast continued until 11:15 am when the parade got well underway.
During the parade there were snow cones and other assorted treats in Grasshopper Park across the street from Avenue A. The Salvation Army set up their canteen over by the visitor's center in Avenue A Park and began grilling hamburgers and hotdogs for the crowds to eat after the parade had ended. The smells from the grill were very enticing. The Salvation Army had on hand a secret weapon to entice even the most picky of eaters, and that secret weapon was cheese; cheese hotdogs, cheeseburgers, it was all about the cheese. They also provided a variety of condiments, several flavors of chips, several different candies, as well as pop and water.
As the parade drew to a close, music began under the gazebo and crowds began to gather on the grass over by the visitor's center. Families having lunch provided by The Salvation Army gathered under shade trees and over at the picnic tables by the water park. Children were laughing and playing in the water at the water park as parents listened to the music. The snow cone truck moved from Grasshopper Park to Avenue A Park and immediately a line began to form for the icy cold drinks.
|Sean Story and Adam Pina|
The crowd came and went throughout the day's festivities. Avenue A would fill up with families and then everyone would clear out and a new group would arrive. Children kept busy at the water park. The music rolled on. Before long it was time for supper.
Camp Hope was the evenings charity and they took over the evening's meal preparation as The Salvation Army began packing up to leave. Snow cones continued to be a popular item all throughout the day. In the evening, bottled water became the popular favorite as the evening was quite warm.
There was some concern that the evening's auto race that 81 Speedway was holding at the fairgrounds might diminish the crowds at Avenue A Park. But that was not the case. In fact, the crowds swelled to record numbers in the evening. Apparently loud, noisy race cars weren't everyone's cup of tea. A lot of people preferred soothing music, large shade trees, green grass, food fresh from the grill, and cold drinks.
Over the course of the day four charities were helped, including Cans For Kansas Honor Flights who provided barrels for the aluminum cans that people discarded.
All in all it was an amazing day of music, food, fellowship, and fun in Downtown Hutchinson. Great family entertainment, water park fun for the kids, a relaxing 4th of July spent with family and friends, in a lovely park setting with everything close at hand. And the price was right. All this awesome for the price of a donation, here and there. It was affordable fun for families and it benefited a variety of charities at the same time. Just wait for next year . . .