The annual New England Wheat Harvest Jamboree in New England normally started on Saturday morning with a full day of events, and would end on Sunday with the Kids Rodeo.
By RACHEL BOCK
The annual New England Wheat Harvest Jamboree in New England normally started on Saturday morning with a full day of events, and would end on Sunday with the Kids Rodeo. This year, the Wheat Harvest planning members brought two new events: an All Wheels Car Show and a 5k Glow run that started the weekend celebration off on Friday evening.
The All Wheels Car Show was held at the Riverside Park, and brought vehicles ranging from cars to tractors to the park for vehicle enthusiasts to enjoy. After the show, there was a barbecue, music, and a bonfire held at the park for people to enjoy.
This year the EHSC Founding Father’s 5k run and walk turned into a 5k Glow Run, a glow in the dark 5k walk and run for participants to have a fun evening with friends and family while raising money for a good cause. Participants and spectators before the run enjoyed an evening of food vendors, shopping for glow in the dark merchandise, face painting, temporary tattoos, hair paint, and extensions. Before the run started Brock White Entertainment handed out awards in the categories of the youngest, and oldest participants, the farthest traveled participant, the participant with the brightest shoes, and other various awards were also awarded before the race. Brock White also played music in the tent during the race to keep the competitors motivated.
Jess Sabo and other Schwartz Construction employees decided to try something new this year and after hearing about other successful glow runs wanted to give it a try in New England. Also, since the Saturday of the Wheat Harvest is already a busy day full of events, an idea was suggested to expand the weekend festivities and add some events to Friday night.
Sabo and the rest of the Schwartz 5k committee started planning for the glow run in February, and since there was more planning to do for the glow run than the normal 5K, the event took a lot more volunteers to help get ready for the glow run. The committee also advertised all around southwest North Dakota, and as far as Bismarck to invite people to attend the 5k glow run. Over 400 participants signed up for the race, and the money that was raised will be donated to the Slope Slickers, and Slope Roughriders 4H Groups, the New England Rodeo Club, the New England Public School Track and Field Team, The New England Public Library, Path Foster Care, and Christmas Gifts for Hettinger and Stark County.
“There was obviously a lot more planning that went into it, but I think it turned out and it was definitely worth our time. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without our volunteers and sponsors. I think we did amazing, and we definitely raised a very large sum of money for the organizations that we will be donating to,” Sabo said
Due to the 5k run doubling in attendance every year, the event is getting too big for the three Schwartz employees to plan the event alone. Next year, if Sabo and the other Schwartz employees decide to continue with the glow run event, they are possibly looking into forming a nonprofit group, and to form a bigger committee to help with the planning of the growing event.
After the glow run a street dance was held under the tent with music provided by Brock White Entertainment.
Saturday morning started off with the Parade with this year’s theme of “Make America Great”. Parade float winners were American Bank Center, (first place), Slope County Bandits 4h Club (second place), and the ASSE Foreign Student Exchange Program (third place).
Following the parade was the New England Women’s Club Vendor Show at the Memorial Hall. The Lion’s Park was busy with the cow drop, horseshoe events, and there was jumping castles and other inflatables at the park to entertain the kids. Lunch was also held at the Lion’s Park, and was sponsored and paid for by Next Era Energy Resources which served roughly 375 people.
The New England Booster Club along with the New England Fire Department sponsored the Demolition Derby Saturday afternoon. 32 cars were in the derby this year, with the first and second place winners going to brothers Ralph and Frank Krebs. The Krebs brothers who originally grew up in New England, have competed against each other in the past years at the New England Derby.
“The two old schools got it. That was pretty awesome that the hometown boys won,” Derby Chariman John (Popper) Plaggemeyer said.
Plaggemeyer who has been helping to bring the derby to New England for 15 years, starts planning for the event in January. Plaggemeyer wants to thank everyone that has helped him with making the derby a successful Wheat Harvest event.
“It is getting better every year. The people that are helping us are awesome. I just want to thank everybody that helped and that was there,” Plaggemeyer said.
After the derby, Indian Tacos were sponsored and served by the New England Library committee at the Memorial Hall, and to end Saturday evening was a street dance under the tent featuring the band Sawdust.
Sunday afternoon brought the 4th Annual New England Kids Rodeo to the Riverside Park with 80 kids ages 3 to 15 years old participating in the rodeo. The children participated in the rodeo events of barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, steer riding, mutton busting, goat tying, and goat tail tying.
The popular event keeps growing every year, and was up by about 15 kid participants from last year. There were also 35 children who were not old enough to participate in the rodeo but were able to still have fun and play in the kid’s games.