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The weather report heading into Saturday’s Kalona Days celebration looked iffy at best, with rain and thunderstorms predicted throughout the day.
When Saturday came, though, the storms held off, and the beach-themed Kalona Days celebration went on without any weather issues.
“We got really lucky with the weather,” Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ben Curtis said. “We had some short sprinkles, but other than that, it was pretty beautiful.”
Event organizers were watching the weather reports closely late last week, forcing them to make one last-minute change on Friday.
“Thursday it wasn’t looking great, and Friday morning it wasn’t looking great,” Curtis said. “We made the tough decision Friday to cancel the inflatables.”
Canceling the inflatables, though, had an upside.
“The silver lining is we’re going to put a little back to school get together in the grassy lot with inflatables and an outdoor movie,” Curtis said. “That’ll be another good family event to get people out and have some fun before school starts.”
No date for that event has been set, but Curtis said it will be some time in August.
Activities kicked off with a fun run early in the morning.
Mid-morning, people lined the streets for the Kalona Days parade, with Tracy and Pat Anderson leading the way as grand marshals.
“Turnout was great,” Curtis said. “The parade was just as popular as ever.”
CBI Bank and Trust was awarded the traveling trophy for the best float in the parade.
Following the parade, the focus shifted to the downtown activities with the kids pedal pulls, pony rides, a kids tent, food, music and “douse the house.”
“I think the day went really well. We had a really good reception with the fire department’s douse the house, the downtown activities and the dunk tank,” Curtis said. “Most everyone enjoyed some really good food, and we had some good vendors. It was a fun day.”
At 2:30 p.m., the Kalona Community Awards were presented.
This year’s Community Award winners were:
• Farmers Supply Sales Inc. – Phil, Myron and Warren Ropp.
• Food For All – Amy Spencer, who was not in town to accept the award.
• Feed the Kids Mid-Prairie – Julie Gordinier, Leanne Bender and Matt Freel. Freel’s wife, Julia, accepted the award on his behalf.
• Pat Anderson, longtime teacher and community activist.
• Eileen Yotty, longtime employee of Farmers Savings Bank (now CBI) and volunteer.
The Mid-Prairie Alumni Awards were also presented.
This year’s recipients were:
• Steve Berger, class of 1982, Alumni Achievement Award.
• Blake Hershberger, class of 2002, Alumni Vocational Award.
• Jeremiah Gingerich, class of 1996, Alumni Service Award.
• Jessica Faselt, class of 2010, Alumni Fine Arts Award.
• Don Showalter, class of 1970, Alumni Athletic Award.
• Steve Yotty, class of 1971, Community Impact Hall of Fame.