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What a great day!

September 18, 2016
Kevin Williams - Grundy County Conservation Director , Reinbeck Courier

Another Pioneer Craft Fair has come and gone. And this year's weather further reinforced my claim that the second Sunday of September is the best day of the month or year for that matter to schedule an outside event.

Since 1980 when the event started, there have been only two rainy days according to my recollections and I have been around for all of them. One of those the rain cleared by 11AM and things went off pretty much without a hitch. The second, however continued to rain off and on throughout the day forcing everything inside. The show must gone was the battle cry and we even did the cemetery walk that was scheduled inside the Ag Hall rather than the cemetery on the nearby hill.

Enough reminiscing. The weather for this past Sunday's event was ideal in my opinion. There have been some lovely days in the past but I can't remember a better. Spirits were high. Everyone appeared to have had a good time. I know all the comments I received reflected that.

Article Photos

Author’s grandson, Tate Williams, “digging in” to the hay pile event.
Photo by B J Williams

Did everything go off without a hint of problems, of course not. The popular railroad motorcar rides stopped before they began. The first trip down the tracks and back saw the motor car derail! Not a terrible derailment but half of the wheels left the track. Happened right at the switch area. Cole, Nick, Luke, and I had a meeting of the minds and no quick repairs could be done. The car sat motionless on the tracks for the afternoon.

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck Schools generously allows our use of a bus to shuttle visitors out to the wildlife area North of town to the buckskinner camp and the horse-drawn wagon rides. We pay for the fuel and a volunteer driver makes for a great deal for us.

Noon came. The horses were harnessed and ready for action. An ever growing group of folks gathered to make the first trip out and no bus.

Of course, who you gonna call? Kevin Williams. A first search on my smartphone wasn't providing the number of our volunteer driver. Another person approaches and asks the same question where is the bus? A call on the radio to the law enforcement center requesting the number quickly provided that. Now I had a small crowd gathered and someone was carrying feathers. I think there was a hint of hot tar in the air but I may have been mistaken.

I called - the driver's wife answered. He had been detained but should be there shortly. A minute or two later and the bus was loading with people and all was well with the world.

There has been a concerted effort to make things attractive to families and it was easy the results of that on the grounds. There were parents with children. There were grandparents with grandchildren, too. And those grandkids of mine have made their way into this week's column, too. I had four grandkids there. Their parents grew up with the Craft Fair and now bring their kids back. As do many other grown up kids that I recognize from a couple of decades ago.

The haystack search or should I say scramble happened at 12:45. The event doesn't take long. You actually can pan for gold in another area of the grounds but you would think that these kids are looking for gold by the way they attack the pile! One of my grandsons was present and old enough to take part and proudly displayed the treasures to me when he was finished.

It was a good time at Pioneer Craft Fair once again. Mark the second Sunday of September on your 2017 calendar right now!



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