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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blockton celebrating sesquicentennial with weekend events

Blockton will be observing the Mormontowan sesquicentennial with events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 26-28, in the community which borders Ringgold county.

Activities begin Friday, Aug. 26 when set up begins for the quilt show, 150 Show and Blocton memorabilia display at 9 a.m.

At 6:30 p.m. the official opening ceremony will be held, followed at 7 p.m. by the Coon Ridge Band concert and dance and bingo. The Park After Dark, a youth activity at the minipark fo rmiddle school and high school youth begins at 9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27 activity begins when the inflatable attractions for kids opens at 9 a.m. and continued to 8 p.m.

Also at 9 a.m. lineup begins for the adult parade with horses at the ballfield and all others at the elevator. At 9:30 a.m., lineup for the kiddie parade begins at the church. At 10 a.m. the kiddie parade for youth 12 and under begins. That will be followed at 10:30 a.m. by the sesquicentennial parade withthe theme "Then and Now - 150 Years of Change."

Entries for the parade are floats, vehicles, tractors, horses, motocycles, ATVs and walking entries. Contact for the parade is Rich RIDGE.

A motorcycle ride for charity is planned at 11:30 a.m. or following the parade.

At 1 p.m. the tractor show begins along with kids games and bicycle rides. Kids are asked to bring their own bicyles.

There will be both a tractor ride and a pedal pull for ages 10 and under beginning at 2 p.m.At 2:45 p.m. the beard and sesquicentennial dress contest begins, followed by the variety show at 3 p.m. Laura WALL and Connie DRAKE are handling the variety show.

Brooke TURNER will be doing storytelling at approximately 4:30p.m. The antique tractor pull will be held beginning at 5 p.m.

There will be a Brooke TURNER concert at 7 p.m. and bingo will be played again.

The Park After Dark, a youth activity at the mini-park for middle school and high school youth begins at 9 p.m.On Sunday, Aug. 28, there will be a community worship service with the Gatewy Singers at 10:30 a.m.

A car show beings at 1 p.m. along with the Gateway Singers concert. A flea market will run all three days at the park. ($10 entry fee for the weekend).

The food stand will open everyday at 7 a.m. The quilt show, 150 Show and Memories of Blockton Show will run all three days at the Christian Church. A local photographer with costumes and props will be available during the event to take old-time photos of families, individuals and groups.

Sesquicentennial cookbooks, calendars, t-shirts, caps and mugs are also available.

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crowd helps celebrate 150
years of Blockton history

More than 1,000 people were estimated to be on hand to help Blockton celebrate the Mormontown sesquicentennial last weekend.

Activities began Friday with the opening of the quilt show, 150 show and Blockton memorabilia display at the Blockton Christian Church.

Friday night the Coon Ridge Band played a concert and dance for a crowd of 250 people following the opening ceremonies.

Saturday morning was the big parade that lasted for almost an hour.

There were seven entries in the kids' parade to start off the day. The adult parade had eight motorcycles, 13 floats, five cars, over 90 tractors and eight horse-drawn entries traveling along the parade route.

Parade grand marshals were Buck and May WEAVER and Edith CAMPBELL, all lifelong residents of Blockton. Queen of the 1961 Blockton Centennial Linda LARISON MENEFEE rode in the parade as did queen court members Lynette KING AMERINE and Jane ABERNATHY SAVILLE.

The floats included entries with the parade's Then and Now theme. A sampling of the floats included Blockton Christian Church, Blockton Garden Club, a float celebrating eight generations of farming in the area from the Earl DRAKE family and the Pinochle Club float, which included longtime member Annabelle WALKUP.

A long line of tractors -- reaching the goal of 150 if toy tractors on two floats were counted in -- were a feature of the Mormontown sesquicentennial parade in Blockton Saturday. The almost hour-long parade showed off wide variety of tractors from over the years. Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News.

The goal had been to get 150 tractors to the celebration, and the goal was met when a group of toy tractors was displayed on two of the wagons that were pulled by other tractors in the parade.

A beard and sesquicentennial dress contest were held during the afternoon. Beards were entered by Ben ROED, Maynard LEMONS, Earl DRAKE and Gary LOUTENHIZER. Among those showing off old-fashioned dresses were Candace FAUBION, who wore the dress her mother wore in the 1988 centennial, Ann MEEK.

An antique tractor pull was held as part of the celebration with over 20 tractors taking part. Tractors had to be made before 1959. Youngest puller was Emily NEWTON, 11, with a B Allis Chalmbers. John CAMPBELL, 74, was the oldest puller, driving a Super A Farmall. First time pullers included NEWTON and James DRAKE, 14, who drove a John Deere 720. The sled for the pull was a non-mechanical walk-on sled as used in old-time tractor pulls.

Other activities included a tractor ride, pedal pull, variety show, tractor show, motorcycle ride and Brooke TURNER concert.

It was estimated that 1,000 people took part in the Satuday activities.

Sunday the Gateway Singers shared the worship service in the morning and a concert in the afternoon.

There was also a car show that drew 25 vehicles. Best of show for the day was a 1937 Ford pickup entered by Jeris PETERSON of Corn-ing. More details about the celebration and pictures are available at the City of Blockton's facebookpage page.

Photographs courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, August & September of 2011


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