ELSMORE — Elsmore Ruritan Club, a community service organization which has been serving Elsmore and Savonburg areas for 49 years, will sponsor the 47th annual Elsmore Rural-Town Days this weekend.
The bulk of the activities run Saturday in downtown Elsmore, with a golf tournament Sunday at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Iola.
Saturday’s activities begin bright and early with arts and crafts booths set up in the Elsmore community building. Also available in the community building from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be flu shots and tetanus shots given by the Iola office of Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department.
A huge selection of used books is available in the southeast corner of the community building. All books are free for the taking.
During the day people can view an antique farm equipment show and visit a petting zoo. Bake sale items and concessions will be available, including homemade ice cream. The Elsmore community horseshoe pits have been redone and are open to the public. John Barker with Uncle John’s Backyard Entertainment will entertain folks with his musical selections and emcee the day’s events.
New this year is a fire extinguisher check sponsored by the Elsmore/Savonburg rural volunteer fire department. Volunteers and extinguisher company representatives will be on hand to check units brought in by the public and will have new units available for sale as well.
The main street parade, with a theme of “Elsmore Ruritan: 49 and doing fine!” kicks off at 11.
Parade marshals are the Clara Boler Cunningham family, which has three generations of Ruritan members.
Cunningham, Iola, was raised in Elsmore, graduating from Marmaton Valley High School in 1973. A Ruritan member since 2004, she has been club president, vice president, secretary and board member and was honored with the Middle America District 37 Ruritan of the Year award in 2013. She has produced the community calendar since joining and has helped with Halloween, Thanksiving and Christmas gifts given senior citizens and school children yearly.
Her daughter, Nicki Cunningham Gossett, a Ruritan associate member since 2011, has been in charge of the Elsmore Day parade for several years and helps during club fundraisers.
Gossett’s daughters, Kenleigh and Marlee Westhoff, fourth- and third-graders at Iola’s Lincoln Elementary School, have been youth members of Ruritan since 2015. They help in the concession stand during Elsmore Day and at fundraising dinners.
A barbecued pork dinner follows at noon in the community building. Prices are $7 for adults, $5 for children 5-12 and $3 for children 4 and under.
Children’s games, including turtle races, bike races, egg toss and ball throw, begin at 1 p.m. At 2, a baby contest will be open to children 1 year and younger. Bingo games follow at 3, and at 4 a free bean feed will be served to the public.
Participants must bring their own kettle or table service. A merchant prize drawing will be held during the bean feed. It is a free drawing but winners must be present to accept prizes. A cash prize drawing will end the afternoon. Tickets are $1 each and winners need not be present.
Festivalgoers are encouraged to stay and enjoy country music from 7 to 10 p.m. courtesy of the Country Rebels. There is no charge to attend but free-will donations will be accepted.
The scene shifts to Cedarbrook on Sunday for the Elsmore Ruritan annual golf tournament. The four-person scramble begins at 9 a.m. Entry fee is $40 per person. A meal is available to golfers. To register, call Loraine Price at 754-3487 or Cedarbrook Golf Course.
ELSMORE Day and the golf tournament serve as Elsmore Ruritan Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds go toward a number of projects, including donations to Marmaton Valley High School activities, college scholarships, giving Christmas gift bags to area senior citizens and schoolchildren, sponsoring Allen County Fair trophies, helping with cleanup around the Bourbon State Lake and hosting a dog and cat vaccination clinic.
The 40 Ruritan members aided the city of Elsmore in its development of a children’s playground and in renovating the community building to house the fitness center. The club helps the Humboldt Ministerial Alliance in a monthly distribution of food to area families and keeps a food pantry supply to supplement the food drives whenever necessary. The club adopts several area families around Thanksgiving, and provides them a box of food. A drop box for non-perishable food items will available at the concession stand in the fire barn. Festival-goers are encouraged to help their friends and neighbors by bring a canned food item to help the club’s food pantry efforts.
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