On Friday evening we walked up to the Utica Auditorium for the Utica Heritage Family reception, we ate ice cream and cookies, talked with our neighbors and heard stories of Dr. Meyer and his wife, Pat, and all they had done for this town over the years.  

 The Star Belles and families getting the float ready for the parade. 

The Star Belles and families getting the float ready for the parade. 

The rain threatened Saturday's car and tractor show, as well as the Fun Run and 5k, but we were able to run before the sky fell and the rain dried out in time for the cars and tractors. 

 

 The kids and parents setting off for the one mile fun run! 

The kids and parents setting off for the one mile fun run! 

Then the Star Belles and families met up at my house for float decorating, beer drinking and lunch eating before heading uptown on the flatbed sitting in hay bales. This was our second time in the Utica Heritage Day parade and we really upped our game for it.  

The Bronco Spur handed out coupons for free small ice cream cones and we rewarded ourselves for a job well done with ice cream that afternoon. Meanwhile, the Burn Out contest took place, the Beer Garden opened, and they had the kiddie tractor pull up by the bank. 

 Cheering on the little ones pulling the tractor. 

Cheering on the little ones pulling the tractor. 

Then they had the street dance and the midnight breakfast. On Sunday I got up and took pictures of the 16 and over softball tournament right before the rain came and delayed it until the afternoon. There was the horseshoe tournament in the pool park, Famous Bob was setting up for his BBQ feed, there were the kids water games out by the ballfield, the Splash for Cash at the pool and then the Sunday evening entertainment that I was in charge of. I ran around town trying to get pictures of all the different things. I'm glad I did because it was the first time I had seen some of the activities. I rode my bike around town and, at one point, I saw a group hanging out in a parking lot sitting in the back of a truck and on lawn chairs drinking Bud lights. I asked if I could take their picture and they said, sure, as long as I had a beer with them. It was so great. Then they offered me another beer and I wanted to accept, but I had to drive to Seward for a gig. Next year I'll make time for riding around and hanging out more.  

 Sunday morning softball before the storm. 

Sunday morning softball before the storm. 

 Horeshoes at the pool park.  

Horeshoes at the pool park.  

 Next year I'll stick around for another beer.

Next year I'll stick around for another beer.

 I accidentally added this twice. Sorry. 

I accidentally added this twice. Sorry. 

 The water fights hosted by the Utica VFD

The water fights hosted by the Utica VFD

 Tim and Lisa on stage at the high school PAC. 

Tim and Lisa on stage at the high school PAC. 

 Backstage with Rebecca and Becky. I'm going to miss them when they go. 

Backstage with Rebecca and Becky. I'm going to miss them when they go. 

The Sunday evening music was really great. Tim and Lisa played their first gig and they sounded awesome together. I can't wait to hear more. Rebecca, Becky, Bronson, Hunter and Shiloh are wonderful singers and musicians and it's always a pleasure to hear them perform. Hayden and Peyton ran sound, Cathy got me in to the building, Tim closed up and we loaded up the cars with our gear and went home. I changed out of the church clothes I had been in all day and scooped up ice cream, took our lawn chairs to the front yard and watched the fireworks. It was such a beautiful night after a fun, busy weekend. Some of you might know exactly what a festival like this is. Some of you might not know there are places that still do stuff like this. We do stuff like this. We'll start planning for next year come January. I'll be at that meeting. 

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