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Farnhamville residents gather for annual Old Settler’s Day

July 29, 2012
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS ( , Messenger News

FARNHAMVILLE - Farnhamville celebrated Old Settler's Day Saturday, a community gathering with families, games and a parade.

The event is held yearly by the Farnhamville Betterment Club.

"We took it over about three years ago and started doing it because a lot of the older generation wanted to step down. So me and a couple of girls starting doing this," Abby Skoglund, club organizer, said.

The origin of the name has been lost to time, according to Mayor Frank Morgan who participated in the event's parade.

"This was established on the 17th of August, and then they quit it for several years," he said. "And then they thought, we've got to revive this, so they had to call it something. They figured, there's old people around, we'll just call it Old Settler's Day."

The point of the day, though, is to get together and give back to the community, Skoglund said.

"It's a community gathering, basically," she said. "So many people volunteer and give money to the Betterment Club to help out with things around the community and we just want to give back."

The day featured a meal in the park. All money raised from the meal went to the Betterment Club "to continue doing this year after year," Skoglund said.

By 9:30 a.m., vendors had already set up in the Farnhamville City Park, and free games were set up for the town's already active children.

"They can run amok and do what they want with those because they don't have to pay," Skoglund said. "That's the best part of this is because most of the time they only have to pay for the meal and then everything else is pretty much free."

The day also featured a cake walk, Bingo, with prizes donated from local and Fort Dodge businesses, a pie-eating contest, and dodgeball. Also, a show-and-shine car show featuring a Bonneville, two Camaros, and a Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

The highlight of the day was the parade. Among the participants, Bob and Fran Johnson rode as king and queen. Webster Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association had a "Wizard of Oz"-themed float with Prairie Valley students in costume. And Security Savings Bank of Farnhamville participated with a Monopoly-themed float called GoLocal-opoly with employees and children dressed as game pieces. CEO Steve Lane appeared in costume as Mr. Monopoly.

"We're trying to emphasize everyone shopping locally," Brian Lane, vice president, said. "We're trying to make sure everybody shops and does all their business locally. It's very important. It helps keep money within the community and keeps things local."

The day and its parade was undisturbed despite the slight, intermittent drizzle.

"It's sprinkling. That's a good thing," Morgan said. "Maybe not for our parade. We need the rain in the area. But it looks like it's shaping up to be a good parade."

Skoglund said she loves Old Settler's Day.

"That's why I continued it. About three years ago they were going to cancel it, and I've lived here my whole life and thought I better continue it or we're never going to have it ever again," she said.

In particular, Skoglund enjoys seeing the community come out, join in, volunteer and have a good time.

"The point of it is just to bring back to the community, bring back to Farnhamville, and just have a free day for them," she said.



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