By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
A weekend of nice weather and large crowds is all the Camanche Days Committee had hoped for at the 34th annual celebration— and it got what it asked for.
The Camanche Days celebration concluded Sunday after four days filled with sunshine and entertainment.
“I’m so happy with how everything turned out,” committee president Brenda Larkey said.
The four-day event included a variety of entertainment options, including a trivia contest, barbecue cook-off, a kids’ pedal pull race, a sand volleyball tournament and softball tournament, among many others.
Larkey and the Camanche Days board were proud to see each event unfold, some new and some old, garnering much attention from all the guests at Platt Park.
“The numbers have been incredible,” Larkey said. “The only thing we had to cancel this year was the Wiffle Ball game between the seniors and the kids; that is pretty good.”
Larkey also said the camaraderie between everyone at Camanche Days was a nice sight to see.
“When you get large crowds of people together you sometimes have issues. There is not a whole lot that I haven’t seen, but this year has been really great,” Larkey said.
One thing that could have caused tension within the large crowd is the variety of competition options available at Camanche Days.
The competitions began Saturday with the first game of slow-pitch softball at 8 a.m. At least 16 teams competed in the tournament and each had its own assortment of fans.
But, as with the majority of the weekend Larkey said, everyone had positive attitudes and respected one another.
The barbecue cookoff also could have created more heat than just on the smokers, but contestants were supportive of their fellow grill masters.
Bob Alm took part in the cookoff and said he enjoyed the friendly competition and all of the challengers he faced.
“There’s some really good barbecue going on here. I’m just happy to be a part of it,” Alm said.
Camanche Mayor Ken Fahlbeck and three other judges had the difficult task of choosing a winner for the cookoff but were happy to be involved.
“I’m really pleased with the turnout of the cookoff,” Fahlbeck said. “I didn’t expect it to all taste so different. It was a much harder decision than I had anticipated.”
The weekend had more to offer than competition. Family friendly events like kids’ day out and arts and crafts gained a lot of attention throughout the weekend.
And who could forget about the Camanche Days parade?
Hundreds of people came out to support the parade on Saturday, honoring veterans, childhood memories and Camanche Days’ history.
“I was so pleased with the parade,” Larkey said. “People were lined all the way down the street.”
But, the parade wasn’t the only thing people lined up for.
As the weekend continued, the sound of carnival rides gearing up filled Platt Park and the lines grew with each passing hour.
By the end of it all, parents carried their kids through the park after they used all their energy riding rides and enjoying the sunny weekend at Camanche Days.
The kids weren’t the only ones to exert all their energy over the weekend though.
“I’m tired,” Larkey laughed. “But it was worth it. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”