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At the Mike: July 14
July is just one big party month in the Golden Belt
Mike - At the Mike

Another week in July and some more celebrations on tap. This time it moves to the east a tad bit and the Ellinwood After Harvest Festival. Ellinwood has to be one of the smallest towns still enjoying a carnival with its festival. I know there are smaller but it’s pretty cool to see the pride Ellinwood takes in its festival.
The event will be three days long but Saturday is a day chalk full of activities in the eastern part of Barton County. Take advantage of the nice cool weather, well, at least it’s not supposed to be 100 degrees.
But it doesn’t stop there. The Stafford County Fair is going on in St. John as well and later this month the Pawnee County Fair in Larned.
Included in the festivities in St. John will be the Demolition Derby on Saturday night. Keep an eye out for Ty Racette. Ty has been on our football officiating crew for several years and riding back and forth to games, I have learned at least one thing about Ty – he is about half crazy. That is a plus for a Derby.
July is a non-stop party in the Golden Belt.

Former Barton Athlete/Coach update
After all the coaching changes shook out, Steve Forbes is staying up at East Tennessee State. The former Barton coach has turned in two great seasons with the Buccaneers including an NCAA Tournament appearance this past season. He will need to reload this upcoming season.
It will be a season which sees him take his team to the hollowed shrine of the south – Rupp Arena. East Tennessee will be playing at Kentucky this year. There is a connection between Forbes and Kentucky – of sorts. After spending two seasons as an assistant for Billy Gillespie at Texas A&M, he went to Tennessee to be an assistant when Gillespie got the Kentucky heading coaching job.
The date has not been set yet for the Bucs trip to Rupp. That will be announced later in the summer when Kentucky releases its schedule. It won’t be his first trip to Rupp but it will be his first as a head coach.

Around Campus
It’s been hot lately. There is no disputing that fact. But there are ways to beat the head and even enjoy yourself.
The other afternoon the kids the Barton’s Child Development Center had the right idea. Throw a big tarp on a hill, add some water and you have a nice water slide. It looked like the kids were enjoying themselves in the Kansas heat.

And Finally
Asparents we always try to prepare of children to succeed. But in the process, sometimes we try to prepare them for moments that may have some disappointment as well.
That was the case for Crystal and I last week. Katelyn turned 17 this past January and with that she moved from the Youth division to the Adult division for her arts, crafts, and photography at the Barton County Fair.
She had fared pretty well during her time in the Youth division, but she knew competing with adults would be tougher.
We prepared her. She entered 11 items. I think as we went out to the Fair Thursday night, she would have been happy with a ribbon or two or three.
We walk in and the first photo we see she entered didn’t win anything. That would be just about last item without ribbon.
Three more photos won ribbons – two blue and one red in Kansas flowers, insects, and animals.
Then on to the arts and craft where she won six ribbons including four more blues. In all, Katelyn won six blue ribbons, one red and two yellows. Nine of her 11 entrants won a ribbon.
She even won a blue on a wood burning item she did about week prior to the Fair. It was her first wood burning project she ever did.
I was amazed at how well she did. Guess I didn’t need to try and prepare her after all. Perhaps I am the one that needs to learn lessons.

Mike Marzolf is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at