Movies on Main keep tradition alive
For decades Main St. has been a popular nighttime hangout for kids who want something to do other than drink or get into trouble.
“It’s more fun than drinking, I think,” Landon Pederson said while hanging out one night last week.
Landon and his group of friends are keeping the tradition alive, doing everything from sitting around talking to playing washers, football, and various other games. They even have started a new tradition: watching movies.
“It’s just something different to do,” he said, “and it keeps us out of trouble.”
Last week Pederson and Braden Fahey hooked up a TV set on the tailgate of Brett Voth’s truck and a group of 15 to 20 teenagers watched “Ted.” It was the third time they had watched a movie on Main St. in front of the St. Luke Auxiliary Thrift Shoppe building.
“People slow down and wave; some even stop,” Pederson said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Many of the teenagers prefer hanging out on Main St. to going to parties. They can be found on Main St. nearly every night during the summer and on weekends during the school year as long as the weather isn’t too cold.
“When it’s cold sometimes we come down here but I don’t like it,” Braden said. “I don’t like to sit in the cold.”
Landon said the police have called on them, but like that the group is hanging out and having a good safe time.
“They’re staying out of trouble and making good friends and memories,” Chief Tyler Mermis said. “We know where they are and we would rather them be downtown than somewhere doing something they shouldn’t.”
Mermis said he was a part of a similar group when he was in high school that often hung out on Main St. in Great Bend.
“It’s something high school students in Marion have been doing for ages, and we felt it was an important tradition to keep going,” Landon said.
Danny Hett and Cody Carr previously were a part of a group that hung out on Main St. to honor a fallen classmate.
“The tradition started before I was in high school,” Carr said. “My dad even hung out down there, but what made me make sure it kept going after I left is that a close friend of mine passed away in 2013, my senior year, and he always loved being down there along with everyone else.
“Landon and his friends kept that tradition going for us, and because it’s kind of Marion’s trademark. Main St. has always been the place to hang out, and I remember seeing people down there when I was in elementary school.”
Carr said he hoped the tradition continued because it was some of the best times he had with friends during high school.