Postponed one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the July 31 Rippey Sesquicentennial 150+One celebrations will provide activities beyond the usual excitements found in rural Iowa small-town celebrations.
Unusual activities will include the premier of “Bigfoot Monologues,” written and performed in open air theater style by Greene County actors. Similarly extraordinary will be the viewing of and a chance to fly a radio-controlled airplanes courtesy of the Des Moines Modelaires.
The Big Bang Bubbles by Rick Brammer, an amazing two-hour gigantic bubble show, and an antique tractor ride to the site of the original town of Rippey near the Raccoon River are also among the planned festivities.
The parade will begin the day with King LaVere Derry and Queen Mary Cunningham serving as marshals. Traditional activities with a twist will include an “Old Timer’s” baseball game between the Rippey Bulldogs and the East Greene Hawks.
Now that some of the original players say they are too old to run to first base, provided they could even get a hit, many of them plan to be present in the stands that were once used by their parents as their teams were cheered on to victories.
In our own food truck throw down, several vendors have signed up to offer tasty and unusual menu features. The vendors will be located directly adjacent to the car show and the craft vendors on Main Street.
In an effort to successfully entertain youngsters and grands of visiting friends and alumni, bouncy houses, spin art, face painting and a child’s tractor pull will be located near the skating rink and shelter house.
Nature photography artist Peg Gannon will have photos displayed for persons to admire and purchase while playing Bingo in the air-conditioned Rippey Community Room.
Local food providers include the Greene County Cattlemen’s Association and the members of the United Methodist Church. The church folks will be providing lunch following the parade, with homemade ice cream and delicious baked goods. The Cattlemen will grill beef burgers and sell chips and water near the baseball concession stand during the “Old Timer’s” game and will stay through the Churdan Town and Country Band performance.
The day will conclude with a street dance on Third Street, featuring 16 Staples, with the drummer of the group hailing from the town of Rippey.
The fireworks will be the grand finale, beginning at 9:30 p.m. adjacent to the Walt Anderson Baseball Field.
Planning for this event has been done in a partnership with the Friends of Rippey and the city of Rippey. The Friends of Rippey are incredibly grateful for the numerous financial donations and gifts from those with strong Rippey roots.
Mary Weaver is a member of the Friends of Rippey.