Numerous antique tractors were just a few of the sights during the parade in the 2010 Kismet Little World’s Fair. This year’s event kicks off at 10:30 Saturday morning with adult kickball at the ballpark in Kismet, and among other events will be the slat races on Main Street and the kids’ racing their box turtles at Turtle Downs. There will also be the traditional ham and bean feed as well as other food and beverage vendors. L&T file photo/Earl Watt
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
September officially begins Thursday, and following not far behind is the month’s first weekend.
Nationwide, people everywhere will celebrate Labor Day this Monday, and a local community will continue its late summer tradition for the 92nd time all weekend long.
The Kismet Little World’s Fair kicks off Saturday morning with an adult kickball tournament at the ballpark in the small community and will wind down with a water balloon toss and a steak cookoff Monday afternoon.
The kickball tournament will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and those interested in participating can call Devin Ryan at 629-5628.
At high noon, registration will begin for a motorcycle poker run. The first bike will leave at 1 p.m., and participants can call Nick Myers at (620) 563-7172 for more information.
That poker run is in its second year at the world’s fair, and coordinator Robert Gittinger said last year’s inaugural run was very successful.
“It turned out pretty good last year,” he said.
In 2009, fair organizers decided to include a bicycle poker run, and Gittinger said this caused confusion for some.
“There were some motorcyclists that showed up who thought it was going to be a motorcycle poker run,” he said.
This is when motorcycle riders chose to start a poker run of their own at last year’s event, but Gittinger said the bicycle run has been kept on the weekend’s agenda, as well.
“It’s 1.5 kilometers,” he said. “They just go around the football field, over to the church and get a card.”
The bicycle poker run will start at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Saturday’s festivities will end with a carnival on Main Street starting at 7 p.m. Gittinger said the carnival, which will run all three days, features many of the same rides and games as previous year, but this year, it is under a new name – WEEE Entertainment.
“The guy out of Dodge subleased some of his equipment to Wichita,” he said. “They’ve got a whole bunch of little towns that like carnivals. He was getting more business that way than pulling out of Dodge. A lot of it’s the same stuff that was in Dodge years ago – just with an update and new managers.”
Sunday morning starts with worship services from Kismet United Methodist Church and Faith Bible Church at 9:30 and 10:30 respectively. Lunch time features the Taste of Kismet at 11:45 in the Pavillion.
In addition to the bicycle poker run, Sunday afternoon brings several other games and means of fun, including a soccer game in each of the communities of Kismet, Plains and Liberal. Those will take place from 1 to 3 p.m.
Sand volleyball starts at 2 p.m., as does the Turtle Treasure Hunt. A 3-on-3 basketball tournament begins at 3 p.m., and Sunday will start to wind down with church services at 6:30 p.m. in the Pavillion.
The Pavillion will also play host to a few rounds of Bingo starting at 8 p.m., and the day concludes with a street dance starting at 9.
Monday is the final day of the Little World’s Fair, and the good times continue starting with the 5K fun run. Registration starts at 6:30 a.m., with the run itself starting at 7:30 a.m. at Kismet Elementary.
Also at 7:30, the 5K walk will start at the elementary school, and breakfast begins at the Pavillion. Gittinger said many dignitaries should be hand for the breakfast.
“For the breakfast on Monday morning at 7:30, I’m sure there’ll be some politicians there, but I’m not sure who,” he said.
Judging for parade floats will begin at 9 a.m. on North Main Street, and the parade itself will start at 10:30 a.m., also on North Main. In addition to the parade, there will be a car show, and Gittinger said he has had a good response for that event.
“So far, I think everything’s going to go good,” he said. “As far as I know, there’s going to be several (cars) show up for the parade.”
After a free ham and bean feed at noon at the Pavillion, kids of all ages can participate in various events starting at 1 p.m., including Turtle Downs, Slatting on Main Street and the Kids Tractor Pull. Gittinger said many of these events are traditional favorites of the Little World’s Fair.
“They’ve worked out good in the past,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of kids enter the contests.”
Gittinger said the tractor pull, in particular, has drawn much attention throughout the years.
“The kids tractor pull has been pretty popular,” he said. “Not last year, but the year before, I had 37 kids sign up for it. I only had two tractors.”
Monday afternoon continues at 2 with a frozen T-shirt pull, and there will be a bike, trike and stick horse race starting at 2:30 p.m.
The next to last event of the Little World’s Fair is a water balloon toss, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Main Street, and Conestoga Energy will provide the fair’s final activity – a steak cookoff.
“The ethanol plant is having a fundraiser for Youthville in Dodge City,” Gittinger said. “They’re cooking steaks. That’ll be Monday about 3:30 or 4:30.”
The theme of this year’s Little World’s Fair is Kismet: Gateway to the Windy West. For more information, call 620-563-7645.