Sunshine and good spirits were the themes Saturday during East Bethel’s annual Booster Days celebration.
A pancake breakfast, kids’ inflatable fun zone and a classic car show kept residents entertained while waiting for the 11 a.m. parade to start. Many of those lining the street to view the parade were still wearing their race numbers from the morning’s 5K fun run and walk. The parade featured 60 entrants, a number of which had obviously put great effort into their floats and displays. Children scrambled to gather up the candy that parade entrants tossed in their direction.
Among the floats was one featuring the 2013-14 East Bethel Royalty candidates. Shortly after the parade, the new royalty was crowned at the East Bethel Ice Arena: Little Miss Krisdi Knutson, sponsored by G.E. Knutson Inc.; Junior Princess Rachel Wiederhold, sponsored by East Bethel Village Bank; Princess Erika McDonough, sponsored by East Bethel Fire Department; and Miss East Bethel Heidi Holuthus, sponsored by Triton Security Solutions.
Also following the parade, the city of East Bethel accepted a donation from Violet Broadbent Stone at the senior and community center. Stone’s donation included a vintage 1919 Dandy Pencil Sharpener that her father, Sanford Broadbent, had purchased from the historic one-room school house was when it closed in the spring of 1954. The steel sharpener was made by the Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co. of Chicago with patent dates ranging from Jan. 9, 1900 through Nov. 5, 1919. The three-pound sharpener will be put on display in East Bethel City Hall. Stone’s donation to the city also included two school bells that the schoolhouse teacher used to ring during the school day to get students’ attention.
Two new attractions at this year’s East Bethel Booster Days were turtle races sponsored by the Lions club and Cedar Creek EcoSystem Reserve tours. A shuttle transported interested residents from city hall to the reserve for tours led by researchers.
Other Booster Days activities included bingo, live music, a craft and bake sale, quilt raffle and silent auction. The celebration concluded with the 52nd annual firefighters dance with music by Uncle Chunk and a fireworks display at dusk.
Booster Days organizer Denise Lachinski said that East Bethel Booster Days is put together by local volunteers and non-profits.
“We are not a city entity,” she said. “Our event is run on donations, not city money (other than half the cost of the fireworks).”