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Hello Hillsboro: After 60 years, it just gets better
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 It’s a good guess that the 60th Annual Firemen’s Labor Day Celebration was a little more involved than the first one, although the same feeling of pride, mixed with plenty of hard work, was very apparent last weekend.

Neither the extreme heat on Saturday, nor the threat of rain on Monday did anything to wilt or dampen the fun and excitement for the crowds that showed up looking for, and finding, plenty of fun.

Hard to tell whether the bull rides were more scary than the carnival rides, but no doubt the lamb rides (mutton-busting) were definitely more frightening to parents than anything else available at the park.

However, true to form, the traditional parade followed by the Labor Day Queen Pageant, proved to be worthy “grand finales” for the exciting weekend.

My favorite parade entry was the beautiful and touching St. Paul Lutheran Church float that featured a salute to both Christianity and patriotism. What a perfect mixture.

A large crowd packed the Queen Pageant at the end of the celebration and enjoyed a special feature when a number of “Queens” from past years were introduced. They also rode on a float in the parade.

The three judges selected Ashley Stockwell, the daughter of Anjie Hill, as the 2013 Labor Day Queen. Ashley also was awarded the title of “Miss Congeniality.”    Ashley won’t be riding all those visiting floats by herself, of course. She will be joined by First Attendant Sierra Hanke, the daughter of Rick and Teresa Hanke, and Second Attendant Alexis Mathis, the daughter of Mike Mathis and Lisa Dunn.

In case you are wondering who the very first Labor Day Queen in 1959 was, she’s Joanne Stanek. We are planning to print the names and years of all the other Queens in our Neighbors issue next week.

This year’s celebration also must be rated one of the loudest ones on record, especially when you combine the tractor and truck pulling with the Saturday night fireworks show!

Another highlight for many folks was the giant display by 36 crafters and vendors. They liked the chance to get a head start on Christmas shopping for folks who enjoy receiving some unusual and beautiful homemade gifts. The many sales displays were set up on the baseball field and proved to be a home run for those who like to browse and buy.

Think of it, 60 years and counting. All it really means is that on Tuesday, the Firemen began planning for next year’s celebration.......Well, maybe that didn’t happen until Wednesday!


Good news for those who love to bid on items at an auction, with the knowledge that all of the winning bid money will go to paying for a new roof on the First Congregational Church.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 14, there will be a big fund-raising auction at Firemen’s Park to keep worshipers dry when attending services.

Food will be available during the auction, and you can also pick up some goodies at a big bake sale. The fun begins at 10 a.m.

Among the nifty items to be old to the highest bidder are: Kimball piano, loads of firewood, porcelain dolls, a lawn mower, barbecue grill, jewelry, swing set, baby changing table, art work, noodle maker, power tools, fish aquariums, weight bench and weights, oak and glass coffee table, gift certificates, and our very favorite item, “much more!”