CPA fun floats into town
CPA activities bring Eudora festival flavor
Floats, food and fun filled the streets last weekend as Eudora's annual CPA picnic went off without a hitch.
The picnic began with amusement rides provided by Toby's Carnival Company. Bumper cars, merry-go-rounds and mainly kiddie rides were available along with the usual carnival games of skill. The rat-a-tat-tat of target shoots, free-throw contests and other games of skill offered prizes of stuffed animals and other assorted items.
As the music of Def Leppard played in the background at one ride, Samantha Griesmer, 14, said the picnic was a great place to see friends.
"(It's) where you get to see everyone," said the Eudora resident. "You don't really see anyone in the summer so it's a great way to socialize."
Friday evening, both sides of Main Street from 6th to 12th streets were filled with parents, grandparents and bystanders to watch the children's parade.
Darren Hicks, Gardner, said he liked the parade because it brought friends together and caters to children.
"It's pretty cute," Hicks said. "It's good for the kids; it's fun for the kids."
As the miniature floats cruised down the street, spectators cheered and. On one float, toddlers dressed like bees Anne Geddes lookalikes sat calmly with antennas bobbing. Another young child riding a rocking horse passed by with a sign reading "Future Bronc Rider and
Bullrider." With his oversized cowboy hat swallowing him whole, he continued on.
One float filled with aliens had a sign saying "Eudora is Outta This World." As they passed, one sideline child appeared impressed.
"Mommy, look at the alien," he said.
As the parade ended, a mass of people swarmed the street to mingle and hit the amusement rides. With only one ticket booth, however, the flood of eager carnival-goers quickly produced a lengthy line.
Chris Papa, Eudora, juggled three kids begging to ride the rides as he waited. Papa said he would have liked to seen more than one booth.
"It'd be alright if it wasn't for the big line for the tickets," said Papa, who was experiencing the picnic for the first time.
But some picnic attendees enjoyed the picnic without having to spend a single dime. Max Moore, Baldwin, said the CPA picnic was a special occasion for him and wife Doris.
"Sixty years ago, I came to this parade and I met my wife here and we haven't missed a year since," he said.
Therra Glade, 14, came with a similar intent.
"To meet hot guys," said the DeSoto resident.
Saturday's events were filled with the CPA fun run beginning at 7 a.m., with a fitness walk, golf tourney and children's pool contests throughout the day.
Then there were the smells of carnival. The Methodist Church was open both Friday and Saturday, selling hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, pies and polish sausages big enough to make a ball park frank look like a toothpick.
Saturday night showcase was the grand parade. Eudora Police Officer Greg Dahlem led the way with sirens blazing. Police cars were followed by fire trucks, one carrying Eudora High School cheerleader throwing handfuls of candy. The new fire truck purchased by the Eudora Fire Department was not available, but Baldwin City Fire Department strolled though with passengers waving hello to its neighbors. Baldwin's presence in the parade was questioned by at least one spectator.
"What the heck is Baldwin doing here?" commented the bystander.
The Kansas City, Mo. Shriners followed behind, their first appearance in ten years at Eudora. They filled the streets with 13 members wearing mideastern outfits, stunt mopes and early 20th century replica miniature cars. On any normal day, they would be cited for reckless driving not today.
Politicians, Eudora Middle School cheerleaders, 4-Her's and local businesses continued the parade. Classic cars with mega-horsepower led cowboys, cowgirls and other politicians having only one.
Tim Ross watched over the Masonic Lodge stand, raffling away prizes for lucky handpicked winners. Ross said the free raffle was having problems attracting people.
"We're having the hardest time," Ross said. "People don't understand that free means free."
South of the gazebo, a crowd of all ages gathered to listen to the sounds of the 312th United States Marching Band. Mildred Rhodes, Eudora, said the band was a nice attraction.
"I haven't been to this for roughly five years," Rhodes said. "I think it's wonderful. I love the band."
Rhodes said having three fewer rides at the carnival left something to be desired.
"There doesn't seem to be too many rides," she said. "Of course, I wouldn't ride them."
Justin Male, an 11-year-old boy scout, said he too noticed a difference in the amount of amusement rides.
"This year's not as good," he said. "They don't have as many rides."
At least, said Marc Nicolay, Eudora, the temperature was cool for the weekend festivity.
"It's a good night for it," Nicolay said. "We couldn't have better weather."
Maybe most important of all, besides the rides, children darting for candy and the occasional dart game, no one was hurt.
"It was nice and quiet," said Bill Long, police chief.