By Naomi Hatch
This year’s Taylor Sweet Corn Festival had something for everyone, adding a Fly-In for the airplane buffs, a play for those who enjoy the arts, and the Cody Hancock and Craig Click Roughstock Invitational for the cowboys.
The second annual Sweet-Tri, a USA Triathlon sanctioned race, drew 150 entries and filled 140 of them, with 12 participating in the comp wave and seven relay teams.
Most contestants were from Arizona, including many from the White Mountains and many from the Val-ley. Contestants also came from Utah, New Mexico, one from California, one from Ohio and the furthest came from Kentucky.
This year a Kids’ Duathlon was added, which was a run/bike/run event for ages 5-12 with a half-mile run, a two-mile bike ride and a third-mile run to the finish.
Proceeds from the Sweet-Tri will go to the Snowflake Swimming Pool Fund.
The Sounds of Statehood had close to a 60-member cast that performed to good crowds Friday, Saturday and Monday evenings. The musical was written and produced by Jodi Flake, and portrayed the history of Ari-zona from about 1870 to Feb. 14, 1912, when Arizona became a state. Each night the finale included fire-works, which was a real treat for Labor Day.
The Cody Hancock and Craig Click Roughstock Invitational was a big draw.
Jared Hatch sits on the Taylor Town Council and is vice president of the Taylor Airport Committee. He reported on the fly-in to the council at the Sept. 5 meeting, noting, “A lot of people showed up for breakfast and the kids from 8 to 17 had quite a line of excited young people who wanted to go for a ride. It was a success and well attended.” He acknowledged Dave Smith, Ray Webber, Brian Carpenter and Jeff Johnson for their work to bring the fly-in to Taylor.
Hatch noted that there were initially two planes scheduled, but there was such a large crowd that he and another pilot jumped in to help. They were scheduled to fly from 7 to 10 a.m., but to let all the youth fly the event continued to around 11:30 a.m.
This was an Experimental Aircraft Association event, with the goal to get kids interested in flying by intro-ducing them to the Young Eagles program. The people in that group were very impressed with the turnout. They had to buy more food and get more pilots and planes.
“It was exciting to see the excitement of the young people. It was an exciting time and to be able to be part of it was great,” said Hatch.
“We’re lucky enough to be able to help with the Sweet Corn Festival Parade,” said Snowflake-Taylor Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Charlotte Hatch, who spoke during the call to the public. She said that the events were well publicized and that with each call to the chamber she promoted the festival.
Councilman Gary Solomon and his wife Bobbie Sue were thanked by Charlotte Hatch for their support in visiting many businesses in Taylor to promote the parade. Hatch said she climbed on the fire truck at the end of the parade to ride the route and there was candy all along the route. She said that Mayor Fay Hatch told her, “It was a good candy year.”
JoAnne Guderian, president of the chamber, and owner of Heritage Bed & Breakfast, introduced herself and read a letter that praised Charlotte Hatch.
“I made comments to the Chief (Jerry VanWinkle) about how successful the parade was staying on the east side of the street,” said Sgt. Alan DeWitt, who had been asked to report on the activities of the weekend. “Sat-urday we had four events simultaneously,” the Sweet Tri, softball tournaments at Centennial Field, the fly-in and the parade, as well as other activities at Rodeo Park.
“Through no one’s fault, we ended up not obtaining a permit to cross the highway,” DeWitt said, so they turned north on 200 East. “It was a very good choice,” with better parking because of more open space. He said he went to the west side of Center Street to notify some people that the route had changed and they moved across the road to see the parade.
“Remaining on the east side of the road was better for safety,” he said, explaining that if they close Main Street, they have to re-route big vehicles where its not engineered for heavy traffic and there was a lot of traffic on the highway that day.
DeWitt said all the events were well attended, and he recommended they keep the parade on the east side because it helped with police manpower. They didn’t have to call in additional officers to shut down roads and re-route traffic.
“As far as the police department is concerned, it was a huge success; overall the festivities were a huge success,” said the sergeant.
“Change is sometimes a little difficult,” said Councilman Gary Solomon, who spoke during the call to the public. Solomon said that he was on the west side, notifying people that the parade route had changed until the parade began. “I’d like to see it cross the road, even though it does take a permit,” he said.
“I don’t know how many missed the parade, but maybe we can alleviate that next year,” said Solomon.
By Naomi Hatch