• Last modified 1465 days ago (April 15, 2015)


The Rhino is afoot

The onset of spring in Marion is full upon us. Trees are leafing out, flowers dot yards, people are preparing gardens, and the cacophony of birds starts well before sunrise.

But there’s an aspect to spring that’s uniquely ours, one that locals have come to understand well.

Pete the Rhino is awake and afoot, stirring the banked winter embers of Chingawassa memories into the flickering flames of anticipation of this year’s event.

He’s assembled an enthusiastic and energetic group of volunteers and tasked them with the same goal he does every year — make this one even better that the last.

They’re well on the way to doing just that. Nothing exposes the fire better than the sizzling “red dirt” sound of this year’s headline band, the Casey Donahew Band. It’s a coup for the event — a popular up-and-coming chart buster. However, I think folks will like them as much for their down home attitudes that keep them playing the small venues where they got their start. That has Pete written all over it.

Rumor has it the bed races may return this year, and nothing would please me more. I’ve lived away from Marion for most all of the Chingawassa Days before, but for those I’ve caught, the bed racers are pure Pete, too — crazy plus fun equals crazy fun!

There’s plenty more to come, and I’m definitely looking forward to having the full Chingawassa experience this year. The Rhino is afoot, and I do believe I’m catching the spirit. I think it’s time to buy a button. You should, too.

— david colburn

Last modified April 15, 2015