Arts fest, airport open house big draw for Sedalians

September 28, 2012

in Local

By Kyle Siegel
Staff writer
Saturday, Sept. 22 was a day packed full of entertainment options for Sedalia residents and visitors to the community. The events included the annual Sedalia Regional Airport Fly-in and Air Show, the second annual Queen of the Prairie Festival, the Downtown Dash 5K event and the 20th Missouri HOG Rally.
The Downtown Dash and the Queen of the Prairies Festival events were cosponsored by Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc. and the Liberty Center Association of the Arts.
“The SDDI partnered with the LCAA to sponsor the festival,” SDDI Director Meg Liston said.
Saturday’s festivities were kicked off by the Downtown Dash 5k walk/run and event organizer Meg Liston was happy with the turnout for the event.
“We had between 40 and 50 people. It was our first 5K event. We were happy with the turnout,” Liston said.
She added, “The money raised is going to the downtown’s share of the Thanksgiving fireworks off of the hotel. We donate $2,500 for that every year. The run was a big help with that.”
The Sedalia Regional Airport also held their annual Airport Fly-in and Air Show Saturday morning. This year’s event coincided with the airport’s 60th anniversary of being open.
The event usually draws a good crowd and this year was no different.
Sedalia Regional Airport Director John Evans was pleased with the turnout.
“I thought it turned out fabulous. I think we had 1,500 to 2,000 people out there. We had 71 Young Eagle Scouts flown in private airplanes. We flew 93 kids with Johnny Rowlands. Anytime you looked up he was taking off or landing,” Evans said.
He added, “We had about 70 airplanes come in that morning.”
A large contingent of bikers from the Missouri State HOG Rally were in attendance.
This year saw the 20th anniversary of the Harley owners HOG Rally and the event lasted for four days.
Saturday evening at 6 p.m. the rally members headed to downtown Sedalia en masse. There were over 500 Harley riders in the parade that started at the Missouri State Fairgrounds and ended in downtown Sedalia.
The rally had multiple activities spread throughout including a poker run, parade, walking dice stroll, observation ride and many group photos. The event concluded Sunday morning with closing ceremonies at the Best Western State Fair Inn.
The Second Annual Queen of the Prairie Festival, which took place in downtown Sedalia for much of the day, was quite successful. The first year of the festival was successful, but the turnout for this year was much higher.
Liston was pleased with the direction the festival is heading.
“The first year, I think, was so good for the artist that they brought some friends in,” Liston said.
This year saw a larger contingent of vendors and artists than the previous year’s event.
“We were scheduled to have 55 booths. I think everybody that indicated that they were going to come, came,” Liston said.
Liston was asked when work and preparation for this year’s festival began.
“We had worked since before the first of the year. Knowing that the Harley rally was going to be sharing some venues, it was a well coordinated effort,” Liston explained.
This year’s festival had something for everyone including “The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet” one-man show performed by R.J. Vandygriff, professional sidewalk chalk artist Craig Thomas, blown glass artist Shawn Harris, face painter Dana Diaz de Leon, SpoFest Poetry Reading, and too many others to list.
A big addition to this year’s festival was music. This year there was a plethora of music entertainment including Sony Recording Artist Tyler Farr.
Farr performed Saturday evening at the fish fry/beer garden held at the Fifth Street and Ohio intersection. Conservative estimates placed several hundred people converged on the spot. No exact numbers were given.
Liston was asked if having more music at the festival will be a yearly occurrence.
“Definitely we want to go with the performing arts and tie that in with the festival,” Liston said.
Another important thing according to Liston is youth involvement.
“We really do need to promote art with the youth community. Sometimes, maybe the young artists are timid about putting their art out,” Liston said. Photos by Randy Kirby and Kyle Siegel, Sedalia News Journal.

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