Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiblow Days heat

August 26, 2010

It seems to me that Tiblow Days, back to school and hot weather go hand in hand. It really shouldn’t be a surprise since August is probably our hottest month of the year. It stands to reason that heat could plague these events.

In my 21 years as general chairman of the Tiblow Days celebration, I rarely worried about rain. In fact, since the Chamber of Commerce assumed operation of Tiblow Days in 1979, I believe it has only rained a couple of times. Once it was raining as the parade lined up along Morse, Nettleton and Lions Park. At shortly before 9:30 a.m. I noted that no one had left and the entries were ready to march. The participants were less concerned about the weather conditions than I was. By the time the parade reached the gas company office on Nettleton, the sun broke through the clouds and the temporary downpour did not hamper the activities. The other time, I remember a rainstorm popped up at about noon and after about 20 minutes, the skies cleared and the park program continued and was only a little behind schedule. I really don’t remember any other rain delays between 1980 and 2000. We have had rains before and afterwards, but the show always went on.

Now heat is quite another story. Many times throughout the years, the celebration has been plagued by extremely hot temperatures and high humidity. While it never stopped Tiblow Days, it did cause problems. Larry Berg and I spent many sweltering afternoons under an umbrella mopping our brows at Kelly Murphy Park. Despite the heat, there has never been a Tiblow Days cancellation. While there has been some complaining, most people endured the heat and enjoyed the festivities.

Incidentally, the date was set in the mid 1980s. The chairmen of area special events met and tried to work out a schedule of August activities to prevent overlapping. I have to say that while it has been hot, Tiblow Days has had better luck than the September’s AutumnFest, which has been halted a couple of times.

I think the biggest improvement was the addition of Kelly Murphy Park. Before that time, we used parking lots. Originally, Tiblow Days was in the parking lot behind the Commercial State Bank. For a couple of years it was in the lot that now is Mutual Savings and Loan. Then we moved to the parking lot behind Alden Harrington Funeral Home.

Do you remember when school was let out for heat days? It hasn’t been that many years ago that schools anxiously watched the temperatures. When they soared above 90 or near 100 degrees, classes were dismissed early. This really fouled up the school calendar and left parents scrambling for childcare. Fall sports practices were delayed or scheduled early in the morning or late at night.

It wasn’t long before schools started adding air conditioning. Now almost all schools have cool and comfortable environments. I know that some districts passed bond issues to install air conditioning. Now students go to school in 70- or so-degree comfort all year long. Now students know they can only hope for winter snowstorms to give them an unscheduled day off.

Of course when I was young, there were no heat days. School did not start until the day after Labor Day and the football season began the third week in September. This meant the sweltering summer heat had subsided. Although all of us remember some extremely hot September days, they are usually few and far between. It seems to me we usually had a cool snap just after Labor Day and football and fall were in the air.

I hope the weather is nice this weekend for Tiblow Days. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a rain-free, cool and sunny weekend? No matter the weather, it will be a great weekend in Bonner Springs.

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