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Plains Day festivities action packed

by TRACY SCOTT Valley Press
| June 5, 2024 12:00 AM

Plains was the go-to place for entertainment, excitement, food and a host of vendors this past Saturday.

The celebration of Plains Day got an early start with the Masons serving a pancake breakfast at the VFW building. A hearty breakfast was a must for the busy day ahead. 

This year Shining Diamond Stables out of St. Ignatius arrived early with their ponies, offering rides for young children. Company representative Anelie Kuglin showed patience with the children. Those who swallowed their fear ended the rides with smiles on their faces.

Rocky Mountain Bank was the spot for those who like ice cream, while parade members registered at the high school. Over 70 floats took part in the parade while hundreds of anxious children lined Railroad Street in anticipation. Most of those children with empty bags at hand, ready for candy to be tossed their way. 

Honored this year as grand marshal was longtime resident Dave Helterline. His family line in the Plains area can be traced back to the 1800s.

With the parade over and candy bags full, the crowd took advantage of the over 80 vendors, showing their wares on the greenway and other locations throughout town. For the kids, Fred Young Park was the place to be, with a bouncy house in full operation. Long lines quickly formed, and pairs of children’s shoes were spread across the park.

On the edge of the greenway, local musician and singer Dave Proctor performed his many pop and rock songs. This was his first time performing during Plains Day. 

Those adrenaline seekers looking for a race to end all races headed over to Rocky Mountain Bank. Eighty-eight thorough-bred turtles were biting at their bits ready to explode out of their starting box. No turtles were harmed during this fast-paced event. Each entry received a gold dollar coin and certificate. First place overall went to Miles Mitchell, with second place going to Garret Taylor, and third place went to Kyla Warnes.

The Plains Day cornhole tournament took place behind the Printery. Thirteen teams competed against each other. This year’s car show had 18 entries. Best of show went to LeRoy Kelly for his 1947 Studebaker Convertible. 

On the lawn of Montana West Dentist two talented chainsaw artists showed off their skills. Denny Henson from Sandpoint Idaho with his apprentice, Adrian Boci from Argentina, were surrounded with their incredible wildlife carvings. 

The crosscut competition, in front of the VFW building, saw several teams forming up to see who the fastest sawyer pair was. First place went to David Stower and Noah Hathorne Jr. with a time of 28.89 seconds. Second place went to Ben Feiro and Noah Hathorne Senior with a time of 28.94 seconds. That was a close one. Third place went to Hunter Fielders and Sarah Carlile with a time of 45.98 seconds. A total of 17 teams took part in the competition. 

The next event took place at Fred Young Park and was for the kids. The watermelon eating contest, or the watermelon wearing contest, was best viewed from a distance, yet the crowd pressed in close to view the mess. The event was sponsored by The Church on the Move and the Alliance church. Some of the top eaters were Jace Russell, Ryan Yoder and Greg Tatum.

While many of the day’s events took place in and around downtown, the Sanders County Fairgrounds hosted a team roping round robin competition. After the horses and cattle were bedded down for the evening, the Kelly Hughes band entertained the crowd with their old-style Western songs.

Street dancing and music took place Saturday evening at the VFW location featuring DJ Kelly Hegg Crosby. 

The last event of the evening was the highlight of the day for many in Sanders County. Hours and hours of hard work by family and friends went into making the Ryan Family Potluck dinner and limbo contest a success. Several hundred people were fed and danced during the evening. 

The traditional limbo contest took place on the dance floor with over a hundred starting out, both young and the not-so-young. There were two categories for the limbo dancers. Short people and tall people. 

Prize money for the shorties was $50 and first place for the tall group was $100. The short group winner was Plains 10-year-old Madison Sturdivant. She was the winner last year. 

The tall group winner was Hot Spring resident 14-year-old Kora Hensrude.  When the dancing concluded and it was dark enough to view an outdoor movie screen, a family value movie was shown. 

Special thanks for the success of the Ryan potluck goes out to Hondo Ryan, Jubal Ryan, (Roxsanna Ryan and Lidia Lee for their overnight cooking at the Church on the Move). 

The fairground events continued Sunday with barrel racing, concessions and vendors.

    Dan and Roxsanna Ryan dance at the Ryan Family Potluck. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    Miles Mitchell and Kati Mitchell at the turtle races. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    Madison Sturdivant, 10, takes first place in the "short people" limbo contest. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    14-year-old Kora Hensrude wins the "tall" category in the limbo contest. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    Greg Tatum gets messy during the watermelon eating contest. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    Arwen Ryan, 1, watches the parade with his dad, Joey Ryan. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    A float promoting the Plains Pool in the Plains Day parade. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    Plains VFW Post Color Guard leads the Plains Day parade. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    The Quinn's Hot Spring Resort float in the Plains Day parade. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    Singer Dave Proctor entertains the Plains Day crowd. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
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    Atreyu Gallaway, 3, grabs candy thrown during the parade. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott