Band, baseball, and races part of Labor Day fun

News editor

The Riker Band will provide street dance music Sept. 1 in Florence, and the 75th annual Labor Day celebration will include new events like a vintage baseball game and 5-kilometer run.

Steve Riker, a former member of the classic rock band Head East, will play familiar hits from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s along with his twin sons, Seth and Stephen. They will also play original songs by Seth and Stephen. To top off the show, they will play Head East hits like “Love Me Tonight” and “Never Been Any Reason,” and more. A $5 Labor Day button is required for admission.

A vintage baseball game played under rules from the 1860s, will take place at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the baseball field at the intersection of 9th and Barker streets.

The game will be between the Chase County Preservationists and the Harvey Boys. An example of a difference from modern baseball is the lack of gloves for fielders; in turn, this means a ball caught on the first bounce counts as an out, Labor Day Committee Chairman Melvin Honeyfield said.

A pair of races also new to the Labor Day lineup will take place on Monday. A 5-kilometer run begins at 8 a.m. Monday, and a 1-mile run begins at 8:45 a.m. Both races will begin and end at the gymnasium at 400 W. 7th Street with courses that wind through Florence.

Honeyfield said some other important events include the Saturday night concert by Six Appeal, children’s ranch rodeo Saturday afternoon, soap box derby Saturday morning, and parade at 11 a.m. Monday. A full schedule of events may be found in this paper.

Rodney and Twilah Williams are the grand marshals of the parade. They have been very involved in city government, community organizations, and Labor Day, in addition to running Williams Service for 50 years.

“They do a lot for the community,” Honeyfield said.

Longtime Labor Day volunteer Bryan Harper is an honorary marshal. Honeyfield said Harper has organized the horseshoe pitching tournament for at least 15 years.

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