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Mayor socks it to the fair

Staff writer

It started out as a themed tribute to the “oldies,” but the Sock Hop last week at the Marion County Fair turned into a rain dance and an opportunity for young and old to have fun.

“This is the first time I have ever seen people run out to dance in the rain,” said disc jockey Brian Finchof Bennett, Neb. “The kids here are just super awesome,” he said. “I even noticed “Aunt” Mary [Olson] dancing.

Mary Olson, mayor of Marion, was crowned best- dressed dancer by event organizers.

“My niece, Morgan Gaines, called and asked if I was going to the hop scotch,” Olson said. “I figured out she meant sock hop. We even planned to wear our poodle skirts together.”

It turned out the Olson had 10 nieces and nephews at the Sock Hop with her, thus the official designation as “Aunt” Mary.

“The whole thing was so much fun,” she said. “Way back when I was a member of the Summit Boosters, all we did was have dances like this, and even preformed for county club day competitions.”

Olson sent a donation and thank-you card to Sock Hop organizer and Goessel Goal Getters 4-H leader Laura Dailey after the event saying that it was great to see the club members from all over the county come together at the dance.

“We weren’t sure we would be able to pull this off,” Dailey said. “A lot of things changed from the time the idea was presented until it actually became a reality.”

Finding an affordable DJ was just one difficulty she faced.

“The local DJ’s just didn’t seem interested and had some very high prices by the hour,” she said. “I was really impressed by Finch’s quick response to our request and willingness to do whatever we needed.”

When rain started falling, Finch played songs like “Thunder Rolls,” “I Love a Rainy Night,” and “Rain is a Good Thing,” and the crowd sang along.

Though in business for more than 10 years, Finch said this was the first county fair in Kansas he had worked.

“This whole thing was a huge risk,” Dailey said. “But in the end, it paid off.”

Plans are in the works for a similar activity for the Marion County Fair next year.

Last modified Aug. 1, 2012

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