Prairie Village News 6/6/17

Faron Wahl, Manager

The annual cycle of activity at Prairie Village, to the eyes and understanding of most, runs for a three-month summer and falls into dormancy during the other nine. But from the inside of this machine looking out, nothing could be further from the truth. The calendar of busy versus quiet here is much closer to the reverse of that schedule.

After much fall work and advance-year prep, followed by a very brief period of solstice, the beehive of grounds activity gets stirred already in February. By mid-April I find myself on the grounds very typically seven days per week. And the lid of busyness gets completely blown off by May 1.

Once we reach the first week of June, when most people really start to feel as though the village summer is beginning, we’re already a long way into our year. But these first days of June do account for a punch of activity all by themselves.

Crowning a Miss Prairie Village dates to the founding of the village in 1966, and this key tradition continued Sunday night. Congratulations to our 2017 Miss Prairie Village, Morgan Johnson, and our Miss Prairie Princess Ella Peterreins. These young ladies will represent Prairie Village throughout the year, most notably at some of our summer events. Donna and Bev took their final bow as longtime pageant leaders; our hats are off to them for so many years of durable and heart-driven dedication.

Another long-running tradition here at the village further compliments our desire to provide actual living history, rather than artifacts alone. Just as we’ve done for many years, church services will be held in the Junius Church every Sunday at 8:00 am during the months of June, July and August.

Not only does this provide an opportunity for folks camping with us to attend church right here in the village, it serves to carry on the actual worship opportunities for which this building was erected in nearby Junius in 1906. It’s one thing to preserve and maintain a historic structure; it’s quite another to perpetuate the very mission of the original by purposeful utilization.

Our church committee, headed by longtime volunteers Gary and Rochelle Johnson, establishes a service schedule led by volunteer area pastors and lay leaders. An offering is taken each week, with the collection applied directly to the upkeep of the church structure. A house of worship born 111 years ago, closed decades later, and then subsequently purchased and moved here in 1967, continues to serve great purpose here both spiritually and historically, and it pretty much self-sustains. Remarkable, and very cool.

You can’t sneak past the first ten days of June without our bull ride stock contractor and a team of volunteers preparing corrals, chutes and an arena for the annual Northern Bull Riding Tour. This popular event is not only an early-summer staple at the village, it involves the community via a partnership and much good work from the Chamber Ag Committee. Additionally, our many dedicated sponsors are key to the continuation of this rite of summer.

We’ve revamped the ingress and parking process for the bull ride, as we look to make better on last year’s flow that was well intended but could have served our guests a step better. You’ll be greeted coming off Highway 34, and then split into appropriate entrance and parking routes to keep things clear, friendly, and flowing. Join us this Friday for a calcutta at 6:30 and the bull riding starting at 7:00.

A great deal is happening here, both visible to the public and behind the scenes. And the kudos go to our rock-solid staff, plus many selfless volunteers gifting their time within an organized and well communicated structure. My deepest thanks to both.