By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON
HAYSVILLE — The 58th annual Haysville Sommerfest will look different this year than usual, but that doesn’t matter too much to festgoers like Tim Kraemer.
Kraemer, of the Haysville Ruritan Club, said he expects the fest to be like a big reunion for the tight-knit community, regardless of what it actually looks like.
“There’s a number of things that are going to be different this year following the pandemic,” he said, “but the thing with most of these small town fests is a lot of people come together just to meet and greet people that they’ve known or would like to know.”
This year’s fest will only take place on Saturday at the Haysville Park, whereas it usually runs for two days. Food lines and booths, including the famous Haysville golden fried chicken and barbecue pork chops, will open at 4 p.m.
In a typical year, the fest would feature activities such as a corn hole competition, 5k race and Jeep Run, but this year’s celebration will mostly just consist of food and music, Kraemer said.
“A lot of organizations that normally would have had activities are not having them yet this year,” he said. “They will probably be back next year.”
Although there will be fewer activities, the food is sure to please just as much as any other year. In addition to the famous fried chicken, which is made with a secret Haysville recipe, the Dubois Boy Scouts will serve fruit cobbler, ice cream and floats and the Dubois cheerleaders will serve hand-squeezed lemon shake-ups.
Live entertainment will include an acoustic performance from Aaron Bridgewater followed by The Dusty Miller Band.
Proceeds from the fest, organized by the Haysville Ruritan Club, go back to the Haysville community. The club uses the proceeds to help sponsor the town’s streetlight bill, the park, the fire department, scholarships, holiday decorations and events around town and sometimes even medical bills for those in the community.
Although Kraemer expects the community to be excited to get back out after the pandemic canceled last year’s fest, he isn’t sure how exactly the turnout will look.
“I’ve gone to a couple other events in the area,” he said. “At some places, there are a lot fewer people than expected, and there’s other places that had more than I would have expected based on before the pandemic.”
Regardless, Kraemer said he is looking forward to meeting back up with his community and celebrating.
“Let’s get back together and Sommerfest,” he said.
4 p.m. until sold out Food line open
4 to 11 p.m. Food booths open
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aaron Bridgewater performs
7 to 10:30 p.m. The Dusty Miller Band performs