WEEPING WATER – Organizers of this year’s Cass County Fair felt the 2019 theme of “Country Fun For Everyone” was a fitting description of the annual celebration.
That motto rang true Saturday night during a parade that featured dozens of entries from across southeast Nebraska.
Hundreds of people gathered at the fairgrounds near Weeping Water to watch the Cass County Fair Grand Parade. A large crowd lined both sides of the U-shaped parade route to take in the sights and sounds of the early-evening event.
Area residents began picking out their seats for the parade several hours in advance. Folding chairs for both adults and children could be spotted on both the east and west sides of the path by 4 p.m. People also chose spaces by the Expo Center, 4-H Building and food stands. Bleachers were set up near the Open Air Auditorium to increase seating capacity.
Students from Conestoga, Elmwood-Murdock, Louisville, Plattsmouth and Weeping Water showcased their talents throughout the parade. Members of all five marching bands performed for the audience, and students on cheerleading and dance squads delivered supportive sounds for their schools.
Many students from other education-based organizations appeared in the parade. Plattsmouth Junior Youth Association participants, Peru State College cheerleaders and members of local 4-H clubs all waved to people in the crowd.
All seven candidates in the Cass County Fair Queen Contest showcased their smiles at the parade. Miss Cass County Riley Fitzpatrick, Miss Cass County Princess Taylor Essary, Miss Elmwood Sydney Kunz, Miss Louisville Carsen Knott, Miss Manley McKenna Jones, Miss Murdock Morgan Mills and Miss Murray Riley Zimmerman rode in cars driven by either family members or friends.
Fire trucks and emergency vehicles from several Cass County communities appeared at the beginning of the parade. The event also featured large farm machinery, floats of local businesses and advertisements for area companies.
The parade ended with an exhibition from bicycle motocross stunt riders. One of the bicyclists hauled a portable ramp along the parade route. Other bicyclists then performed tricks in the air as they flew off the ramp.
Parade organizers asked fairgoers at the end of the event to recognize three longtime members of the Cass County Fair Board. Sherry Kunz, Steve Wehrbein and Alan Horn all retired from the board this past year after many decades of service. All three played key roles in the planning and implementation of activities at previous fairs.
Kunz was the fair board accountant for many years and Wehrbein was fair manager for more than a decade. Horn was a member of the fair board since 1994 and served as board president.