Ellinwood’s After Harvest Festival got off to a fun start Thursday evening when six teams were fielded for the Business Olympics at the entertainment tent in City Park. They included two teams from Ellinwood Hospital, the administration competing against staff, and one team each from H & B Communications, Shartz Building, RMAC, and Bartlett Grain.
Christina Hayes, Great Bend’s community coordinator, has enticed teams in Hoisington, Ellinwood, Claflin and Great Bend to compete throughout the summer. Winner’s of these events will have a chance to compete against last year’s grand champion for the traveling trophy.
While not every game is the same at each event, all participants will find them within their range of athletic ability, and all offer a zany twist on old field day favorites. Ellinwood teams competed in four feats of cunning and skill. While physically simple, they tested participants to their limits of laughter and self-imposed humiliation. First up was a race that mixed up three-legged race with balloon and egg relays all in one, followed by a grown-up version of the favorite board game Hungry-hungry-hippos, a tricycle -egg and spoon race, and ending with an oreo relay.
In the end, only one team could win, but the real winners were the audience who had a field-day with cellphone cameras, gathering plenty of material for office newsletters and future tongue-in-cheek bribery for months to come.
Ellinwood Hospital’s administrative team came in first overall, though the final oreo relay was certainly not their strong suit. The object, to move an oreo from forehead to mouth without using hands, chew and swallow then switch, left more than one team member desperately contorting head and neck as oreos moved into target range, then fell away to the ground. That fate left Bartlett Grain’s team waving a white flag, though not from lack of trying. Shartz Building, too, had to forfeit in the end.
H & B Communications were hot on the heels of the Ellinwood administrators, and might have taken first had they not done so poorly during the tricycle race. But, it’s not easy to move a golf-ball from a spoon without using hands while sitting on a tricycle. The RMAC team, however, appeared to be seasoned pros.
Meanwhile, Rusty Rearson and his band completed set-up and prepared for their show later that evening. As the final gaps in the snow-fencing that marked the concert grounds was secured into place, seating began to fill up around the entertainment tent. Ellinwood’s young and old carried plates to tables and enjoyed the dinner that came with the price of admission to the beginning of Ellinwood’s premiere summer event.