ELLINWOOD — The 45th annual Ellinwood After Harvest Festival concluded Saturday with revelers dancing into the night. The hour-long AHF Parade featured approximately 80 entries, including reunion floats, antique and classic vehicles, local residents and visiting politicians. This year’s theme was “Celebrating People, Petroleum & Progress.”
Emcee Joe Curtiss described the entries, which included a convertible carrying the 2018 AHF Parade Grant Marshal, Ruth Corbett, and a truck carrying the Ellinwood Rotary’s 2018 Distinguished Citizen, Justin Joiner. The Corbett clan also had a family float; Ruth has 18 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
“Ruth has lived in Ellinwood nearly all her life and has been active in the community pretty much since she landed here from Odin, Kansas,” Curtiss said. “Most of us remember her from the grade school having been the school nurse starting in 1968 to 1993. More than 15 years ago, Ruth started crocheting snowflakes for the Catholic churches’ Christmas trees and has made over 200 ornaments for them and still enjoys making them.”
Children were invited to be in their own parade ahead of the main parade. Somewhere between the kids and the parade proper were Lynette Barragan and Linda McCaffery on stick ponies. They called themselves the Galloping Grannies Saddle Club.
Ellinwood Chief of Police Chance Bailey was also in a vehicle near the front of the parade. An all-around winner this year was the Ellinwood Fire Department, which entered several pumpers. A 1955 American LaFrance firetruck was driven by Retired Fire Chief Art Huslig.
The second-place winner in the all-around category was the American Legion Post 320’s display of all 50 state flags, 19 national flags from various periods of our nation’s history, and in front of the first trailer, after the stars and stripes, the five service flags honoring all veterans.
St. John Lutheran Church was the sole entry in the religious category. Their float was also a promotion for their upcoming Vacation Bible School, July 29 through Aug. 2, titled “Splash Canyon.”
Featured reunions included the Ellinwood High School Classes of 1958 and 1968; there was also an entry for the Gathering of the Eagles, an all-school alumni association. The Gathering of the Eagles reunion will be held in October and it will be held in Ellinwood (instead of Great Bend) for the first time. The group’s parade entry was the Wolf Brewery Wagon that once delivered kegs in the 1880s and, according to Curtiss, has been in every parade since the Ellinwood Centennial in 1972.
2018 AHF Parade Winners were:
All Around - 1 Ellinwood Fire Department, 2 American Legion Flags
Most Original - 1 Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty, 2 Tent City Four Wheelers
Theme - 1 Fanshier Corrosion, 2 Wolf Hotel
Youth - 1 Ellinwood Energizers 4-H, 2 Eagles Spirit Squad
Religious - 1 St. John Lutheran Church VBS
Antique or Classic Vehicle - 1 1959 T-Bird (Schwabies), 2 1972 Chevrolet SS (Jesse McConnaughy)
Antique Tractor/Truck - 1 1948 Chevy pickup (Larry Klepper), 2 Brett Fairchild (antique tractor)
Commercial - 1 Ellinwood District Hospital, 2 Joiner Construction
Class Reunion - 1 Class of 1968, 2 Hauser Family Reunion
People’s Choice Awards (via text voting) - 1 Ellinwood District Hospital, 2 Grand Marshal Ruth Corbett, 3 Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty