The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Mitch Worley, Quill Reporter
Summerfest 2008 had the usual entertainment with the bands, talent show, food, rides, games, and the parade, but there are things that make each year different.
The first thing that sticks out is the camaraderie.
Everyone in the town comes together not only to hang out at the park around the carnival for the rides and the stage for the nightly shows, but all throughout the day at the breakfasts and other daily events that took place throughout the week.
The Golden Rule Club and the churches of La Harpe took turns serving ice cream and other delectable treats during the annual Summerfest Ice Cream Social in a tent just behind the basketball court of the park.
Keeping on the topic of food service, each night at about 4:30 PM, local groups took the stage to sell food to raise some money for their individual causes.
Thursday featured a Fried Fish Supper by the La Harpe Volunteer Fire Department with tacos being sold in the park by the La Harpe American Legion Auxiliary.
On Friday, First State Bank of Western Illinois hosted its annual Customer Appreciation Picnic from 11 AM to 1 PM and at 4:30 PM; the La Harpe Masonic Lodge served a Chicken Supper, while the American Legion Auxiliary served tacos in the park again.
Saturday morning saw the La Harpe Methodist Church start off the day very early with it's annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast, which some high profile local figures stopped by to eat and mingle with area voters and campaign a little for the upcoming elections in November. Later on that night, the 32nd Annual Lions Club Pork Chop Barbeque Supper was held, and the American Legion Auxiliary sold tacos in the park again as well to cap off the weekend.
Starting during the Methodist Church's breakfast was the Saturday morning block race at the La Harpe Christian Church, an event that brought a great deal of intrigue and had a very heartwarming ending, as there was a tie for first place between Dukie Sturek and Carson McKee.
The second thing that distinguishes this Summerfest from all the rest is the sportsmanship and selflessness in competition.
When recounting what he saw just before participating in the balloon toss hosted by WCAZ of Carthage at the park, Kevin Oliver said, "It was a photo-finish! I couldn't tell who won. They were really close."
Sherri McKee, Carson's mother, was extremely proud of her son and not just because he did as well as he did in the race, but how he resolved the situation.
"Carson and another boy [Dukie] tied for first and Carson told everyone that he would take second place."
This was quite the story and rightfully spread to be the talk of the town throughout the rest of the day and night on the final day of Summerfest.
Finally, Summerfest brought a fun atmosphere to the community that is always different from all other years.
Of course, there was the 31st Annual Frog Jumping Contest hosted by the Lions Club and the 32nd Annual Turtle Race also hosted by the Lions Club, WCAZ Kid's Games, Lip Sync Contest, parade, the rides and carnival games were all fun, but people enjoyed those things along with everything else that went on differently.
Each event had different people, doing different things to cause a laugh and contribute to a great time.
One member of the community remarked, "It was a great compliment to the Car Show and I think everyone that came had a lot of fun."
This old school car made it all the way from Good Hope to be a part of the Summerfest parade