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Old fashioned baseball game highlights Florence Labor Day

Staff writer

Florence’s Labor Day Weekend is like many small town fairs; they have a parade, sporting events, and fireworks.

As much as the festivities are characteristics of Anytown, U.S.A., Florence draws a crowd.

Something that a typical small town celebration does not have is an 1800s-style baseball game.

The Harvey Boys hosted the Howe House Griffins from Emporia in an old fashioned baseball game Sunday and 70 fans from the community turned out to enjoy the game.

Despite a strong effort from the Harvey Boys, the Griffins won 8-5 in extra innings.

Following the game there was a watermelon seed-spitting contest and the evening was capped off with fireworks. The game and fireworks were the best aspects of the weekend, ninth grader Emily Hake said.

Saturday evening, residents were treated to the music of Brody Caster, a country music recording artist from Nashville.

“He was really good and I enjoyed that very much,” resident Raquel Riggs said. “There were more people here than what I expected.”

Despite a shorter parade, Monday morning drew a crowd of 1,000 people, more than it’s had in recent years. The winner of the float contest was the Christian Church of Florence.

Those visiting for the weekend come for Labor Day activities, but they have access to historical buildings like the Harvey House museum and the local library.

“There are a lot of historical things in town they can tap into if they know the area,” Riggs said.

The weekend of celebration is good for local businesses too, ninth grader Hannah Stubenhoffer-May said.

“It gives small businesses a chance to put their names out there,” she said.

Katie Claassen is the co-owner of one of those small businesses. Katie and her sister bought the Flint Hills Market and Bakery in May of 2016.

“Labor Day’s a big day so it’s good to be open,” Claassen said.

The Claassens are not from Florence, but they appreciate the increase in visitors to the area.

“I just think it’s fun when a little town does something like this,” Claassen said. “They all just get together and celebrate.”

There were several reasons to celebrate. Mark Tajchman and Brian Alexander won the horseshoe tournament, and Jenessa Preece won the bike-decorating contest.

Last modified Sept. 6, 2018

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