Annual summer festival features familiar fun
It's a carnival. It's parades. It's the 2006 CPA Picnic.
Once again, Eudora's tribute to the supermen who fought cattle rustlers in the town's distant past is set to return in a summer haze of glory.
The children's parade, main parade and carnival ---- replete with rides and snacks ---- will be back between the old middle school and police station on Main Street.
"We want kids to have fun," CPA president Jerry Trober said. "It's for the grown ups too ---- people who have graduated from Eudora or are from Eudora, but it's mostly for kids.
"That's our main goal ---- to make sure the kids are happy and for them to have something to look forward to."
The picnic has been around for decades to honor the Central Protective Association. The association still survives today, but the members strive less to fight against horse thieves as they do to maintain tradition. The celebration has grown from what was a daylong picnic at the dawn of the century to a three-night fete.
The fun starts Thursday at 6 p.m. as the game stalls open and the rides of Toby's Carnival warm up to spin people late into the evening. The picnic's opening night will also feature wafting smells of food provided by members of the Eudora United Methodist Church. The food booth opens at 4 p.m. each day.
"They usually have pies and pieces of cake and they have the polish sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs,"
Trober said. "It's just basic little stuff as if you were going to a carnival.
Although Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty will be taking part in the event for the first time, the value of the event isn't lost on her.
"I think these types of events are excellent for the community ---- for building camaraderie and also drawing and attracting others to the community.
The traditional fun will begin at 7 p.m. Friday as youngsters don costumes and parade up Main Street.
Last year, children dressed up in costumes inspired by books like Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" or took a page from fairy tales like "Cinderella." Last year's champion float recreated a mobile sock hop with oldies blasting from a radio and poodle skirts to spare.
Registration for floats in the children's parade will start at 6:15 p.m. at Pilla Park across from the Eudora City Hall, at Seventh and Main streets.
Motorized or street legal vehicles will not be allowed at the children's parade.
The carnival will continue Friday evening, along with an assortment of children's games provided by the Eudora Parks and Recreation Department.
In the past, kids games included the beanbag toss and an opportunity for children to find coins in a bucket of flour.
"It's just going to be about the same stuff this year," parks and recreation director Bobby Arnold said.
To finish off Friday night's festivities, the Eudora Lions Club will have a bingo fund-raiser to benefit the Eudora Fish statue project and later Jeff Nelson and The "Bucket-a-Suds Band" will play old-time country and western swing music.
The annual CPA Horsethief Run, formerly called the CPA Fun Run will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Eudora Middle School to raise money for the Eudora High School cross country team.
Later in the day, the parks and recreation department will have kids games from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Eudora City Pool. Among the fun will be diving and splash contests and a coin dive game.
Starting at 6:15 p.m., registration will open for the grand parade. The grand parade will wind from 15th and Elm streets to the corner of Seventh and Main streets.
Groups throughout the community will create floats and dress up vehicles to parade downtown.
Following the parade, the carnival will continue to run and longtime CPA entertainer Cubby Lane and The Secrets will thrill the crowd with his life renditions of classic rock songs.