Keeping busy at Greater Crater Days

Events included parade, miniature golf, bicycle rodeo and pageant

-Messenger photo illustration by Joe Sutter
Manson Greater Crater Days features a mini-golf course Saturday afternoon, underneath the flag hung from Manson/Rockwell City’s newest fire truck, in this image made from multiple photos. Kids’ games and food stands were also going Saturday afternoon, along with a kids’ beauty pageant, a lawnmower ride, a softball tournament and a spelling bee.

MANSON — With the truck pull Friday night followed by a parade Saturday morning, Manson Greater Crater Days hit all the old highlights, while also adding in new events.

One of those especially popular with kids was a bicycle rodeo.

For more photos of the event, see our CU gallery.

Kids of all ages gathered at the Manson Northwest Webster High School around 1 p.m. Saturday to register. Volunteers checked out their bikes, handed out free helmets, gave away lights and helped the kids find one of perhaps a dozen starting points for the different events.

The idea was to have fun, yes, but also to teach kids about bike safety, said Manson Police Chief Gerry Frick.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Dalton Waychoff, 11, sets the fastest time in his group (18 seconds) for weaving around the cones during the Bicycle Rodeo at Manson Greater Crater days. The new event was designed to help kids learn about bike safety.

“We have been watching them throughout the school year,” Frick said. “The things they’ve been doing wrong, we incorporated into this event.”

One student was even hit by a car trying to cross a road earlier this year, Frick said.

The event had kids weaving through cones both fast and slow, but also required them to ride along a stretch while safely looking behind them to see what color paper a volunteer was holding up. They also were tested on their technique when passing a walker or a wheelchair, and on what to do at certain road signs.

“It’s also to get them to interact with police officers,” Frick said. “I’m here, and we have a sheriff’s deputy … It’s just to get to know us as people.”

Helmets were purchased by the Manson Lions Club. Several businesses in town also supported the event with free ice cream and two bikes which will be given away later in the year.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Cora Hulegaard, 4, brings back some of her candy during the Manson Greater Crater Days parade Saturday morning.

Paisley Jensen, 7, had been looking forward to running her bike through the obstacles all day.

“They wouldn’t let me forget this one,” said her mom, Emily Jensen. “They were so excited. They weren’t sure what it would be.”

Little sister Hadley Jensen was a little too young for the age-4-and-up requirement, so she was content to watch in the shade.

“She loved the parade,” Emily Jensen said. “The sirens, the horses.”

Back on the fairgrounds, along with the kids’ games, food vendors, and miniature golf, a beauty pageant was held.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Jenny Hock, left, helps Nora Hokinson, 4, with a crown to go along with her fire department dress before the America’s Gorgeous Stars Girls’ Pageant at Greater Crater Days Saturday. Hokinson couldn’t compete since her mom, Janna Hokinson, organized the contest, so Nora got to be the co-director.

Janna Hokinson, of Manson, organized the America’s Gorgeous Stars Girls pageant for the first time this year.

“This is my first one to direct,” Hokinson said. “We’ve been going to them around the midwest.”

Nora Hokinson, 4, wasn’t able to compete since her mom was in charge, but dressed the part anyway for her role as “co-director.”

Girls came from around the state, from Omaha, and even Chicago, Janna Hokinson said. The youngest contestant was 20 months, and the oldest 9 years old.

Everybody won a toy during the event, she said, and there were quite a few crowns to go around as well.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Jada Junkman, 3, tries to get her ball to go in at the Manson Fire Department’s entry into Greater Crater Days mini golf, while her brother Dawson Amspoker waits his turn. Businesses and groups from Manson provided the themed mini golf holes for the event.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Kids ride back to the high school as part of the bicycle rodeo during Manson Greater Crater days, designed to help kids learn bike safety.