Ellinwood celebrates its hometown roots – GREAT BEND TRIBUNE

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Ellinwood held its 49th annual After Harvest festival this weekend with a celebration of “hometown roots.” Community members who live along the parade route watched from porches, while others brought chairs downtown for the Saturday morning parade.

The Rotary Club of Ellinwood has coordinated the AHF parade since 1991. The judges for the parade entries were Lori Steffan, Jennifer Klepper and Gaila Demel.

In addition to first responders and politicians, the parade included cheerleaders and football players from Ellinwood High School, the Ellinwood Eagle Backerz and class reunion floats – beginning with the Class of 1962, celebrating its 60th meeting and ending with the class of 2022.

The Grand Marshal, Stephen Richter, Recreation Director of Ellinwood, rode in a classic Corvette. Rosie Joiner of the Rotary Club of Ellinwood Organizing Committee explained how the grand marshal is chosen. “We are always looking for someone who provides exemplary service and dedication to our community. We are looking for someone who embodies the spirit of Ellinwood and is very involved. Stephen is that.

Another parade entry posthumously honored distinguished citizen Kelly Miller, who died on May 16. He was born and raised in Ellinwood and loved farming, small town life and raising his family where he grew up.

The parade was one of many AHF events. The festival kicked off last Wednesday with special exhibits at the Ellinwood School/Community Library and the Ellinwood Museum, as well as a walk down Brick Street and an evening cruise down Main Street.

Thursday there was a community barbecue and homemade ice cream and pie party, and Friday there was a community breakfast. Throughout the week there were games for children and activities for all ages.

The festival ended Saturday night with a dance featuring Cody Canada and the deceased at the city park.

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