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WORK ZONE: Hoisington celebrates labor
The Superior Essex stock car raced by J.J. Yeley was available for close-up inspection during the Hoisington plants open house on Saturday during the Hoisington Labor Day Weekend celebration. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Hoisington Labor Day Celebration
6 p.m. - Cates CarQuest - Thunder in the Wetlands Cruise Night; Weee Entertainment Carnival
8 p.m. - Roto-Mix RoundUp featuring Freddy Fox and the Hotrods; Thunder in the Wetlands Fireworks Display

Hoisington Labor Day Celebration
1 p.m. - 34th Annual Kansas State Demolition Derby
6 -10 p.m. - Weee Entertainment Carnival
8 p.m. - Labor Day Street Dance Featuring Homebrew

Labor Day
Hoisington Labor Day Celebration
7:30 a.m. - Labor Day 5K/10K Run/Walk
10 a.m. - Golden Belt Humane Society/Adopt a Pet fundraiser; walking tacos or sloppy joe meals in front of Steve’s Car Wash on Main
10:10 a.m. - Kids Parade
10:30 a.m. - Annual Labor Day Parade; followed by Rich Fox Memorial Car Show
11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Weee Entertainment Carnival
2 p.m. - Beer and Pop ID at Knights of Columbus

HOISINGTON — For a celebration of American Labor, the Superior Essex plant in Hoisington was a good starting place. The plant held an open house Saturday during Hoisington’s annual Labor Day Weekend celebration.
Duane Stout took his wife Starla and daughter Melissa on a guided tour of the plant where he’s worked for three decades.
The company designs, manufactures and supplies wire and cable products used all over the world.
One large motor at the plant draws so much power that it is only started at night in the summer, during off-peak hours, Stout said.
At another stop on the tour, Stout stood next to a row of enormous boxes labeled for recycling.
“Nothing goes to the landfill out here; it’s all recyclable,” he said.
Fellow Superior Essex employee Jim Loesch said the turnout Saturday was excellent. Another longtime employee, he recalled the plant’s last open house was in 1996.
Outside the plant, people could view the Superior Essex Nascar Xfinity Series Toyota driven by J.J. Yeley. The car is scheduled to appear in three more races this year: The Chicagoland 300 on Sept. 16 at Joliet, Ill., the Drive Sober 200 on Sept. 30 at Dover, Del.; and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Nov. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth.

Detour for labor
That wasn’t the only activity going on Saturday in Hoisington. There was a morning turtle race and city-wide garage sales. Traffic on much of Main Street, which is also U.S. 281, is detoured this holiday weekend to make room for the carnival and vendors, street dance and other activities, including a parade on Monday.
In front of a house at Third and Main Street, Melissa and Joe Hipp and family are making and selling “Sweets & Treats.” Twenty percent of the Labor Day weekend proceeds will go to Hoisington’s GPS Kids Club, Melissa said.
On Saturday, son Micheal was busy spinning Cotton Jollies, which his mom described as “Jolly Rancher-infused cotton candy.”
The family business, which involves the parents and their five children, is called Cardinal Family Entertainment. “We have a big dream here,” Melissa said. Their mission is to provide family-friendly entertainment, which they hope will someday include a drive-in theater in Barton County.

Heroically Hoisington
Over at the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Office, Executive Vice President Jessica Homolka said she was looking forward to Saturday night’s free fireworks display, which was expected to be their biggest ever, and a street dance featuring Freddy Fox and the Hotrods. The parade on Monday will follow this year’s theme, “Heroically Hoisington.”
Homolka provided the list of winners from Saturday’s Heroically Hoisington Baby Pageant:
• People’s Choice winner, Abel Thomas Dean Nicholson from Hoisington, who turned 1 year old at the end of July
• Labor Day Baby, Emmalynn Jo Moses, from Great Bend, 7 months old
• 1st runner-up, Harper Lyn Ochs, 13 months old, from Hoisington
• 2nd runner-up, Aiden Lee Spencer, 17 months old, from Great Bend

Sunday's highlights
Sunday’s events will include the 34th Annual Kansas State Demolition Derby, starting at 1 p.m. at Bicentennial Park, 604 N. Monroe St. A new addition will be the Kids Demolition Derby during the first 15 minutes of the event.
“Little ones can bring in their power wheels,” Homolka said. The kids will wear helmets and no “souped up” vehicles will be allowed, she noted. However, some of the little vehicles will sport clever decorations, and she expects it will be a lot of fun.
One event recently added to today’s schedule in an open house from 3-5 p.m. at the new Lincoln Elementary School at 514 N. Pine St. It was added so that alumni attending reunions can see the new building, Homolka said.
Another new event this year is “Classic Cars & Pretty Faces,” sponsored by Great Bend photographer Fred Barton. There are classic cars on display in front of Manweiler Chevrolet, and models are there to talk about the cars and pose for photos, for a donation.
Barton said there were some last-minute changes to his plan after some of the people who volunteered to show cars were unavailable, but there are prize drawings and donation boxes. All of the proceeds from this event will go to the Salvation Army, the Hoisington American Legion and the Hoisington Historical Society.
Barton and two or three of his models had to present their plan to the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce and the Labor Day Committee for approval. Barton said they explained how donations will be kept secure and assured organizers that this would be a family-friendly event, with the models tastefully attired.
Two models on hand Saturday afternoon were Hannah Blanchard from Hays and Jaime Hanson from Russell. They said the spent a couple of months preparing for the event.
Blanchard pointed to a bright orange 2004 Mustang, commenting, “it’s a 40th anniversary rare-edition color; less than 1,000 were made in this color.” The 3.9-liter, V6 premium engine provides roughly 230 horsepower. “The owner cleaned the entire engine by hand with a wire brush. It took him three days to clean.”

Labor Day activities continue Monday with a Run/Walk at the Hoisington Activity Center, the Kids Parade and Labor Day Parade down Main Street, Wee Entertainment & Hammeke Electric Vendor Row downtown; DWTA Helicopter Rides for $40 at the Hoisington High School football field, Rich Fox Memorial Car Show downtown after the parade, and Beer & Pop Identification Contest at the Hoisington Knights of Columbus Hall. The Classic Cars & Pretty Faces will be there again, too.