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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Column: Final thoughts on the festival

  • Festivals are fun on many levels. For a small town newspaper, they are something we can have a great deal of fun covering.
    There are so many events, and so many people, great photo opportunities lurk around every corner. I tried to get to a lot of them, and had some help from other photographers as well. We could not possibly get to everything, so if we missed your event, we apologize and will try to next year.
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  • Festivals are fun on many levels. For a small town newspaper, they are something we can have a great deal of fun covering.
    There are so many events, and so many people, great photo opportunities lurk around every corner. I tried to get to a lot of them, and had some help from other photographers as well. We could not possibly get to everything, so if we missed your event, we apologize and will try to next year.
    We were also able to post a lot of photos online, so we were able to get more pictures out to the public than we could have in the dark ages before the Internet.
    The events themselves were well organized and things went well for the most part. In thinking about a public event,  the real measure of success is how adversity is handled more than anything else.
    Strange things, and accidents are going to happen. There are things even the best organizers have no control over.
    One of those things was a horse that got spooked and bucked its rider off during the parade.
    Chelsea Easterly was fortunate to not be hurt worse than she was after her horse started bucking and threw her off. Her quick thinking also helped her prevent an injury to her young rider.
    She had some bruises but is basically OK, resting up at home, no doubt getting ready for the next parade.
    The horse was one that had been in many parades and never done anything like this before.
    From what I have heard, a lot of horses in the parade seemed nervous or agitated for some unknown reason. That may have led to her horse getting excited, but there is no way to know for sure.
    Chamber Director Shelley Hansel did a good job directing traffic when the incident happened. She helped keep the crowd calm and the way cleared for medical personnel to get to the scene.
    At the parade a variety of stories were floating around and it took a little time to find out what really happened.  
    Event organizers were obviously concerned, and some said they might consider not allowing horses anymore.
    Safety is always a good thing to discuss, but banning horses because of one accident seems a bit extreme.
    There will always be accidents and things that happen. There is no way to plan for every possible thing that could happen, or to prepare for everything that might happen.
    ***
    There were a lot of politicians here for the forum and for the parade. I suppose we cannot ban politicians form parades, but thats another column.
    Just in case you are keeping score at home. Democratic challenger Paul Davis walked in the parade but didn’t make it to the forum. That is his second visit to wellington, and  Gov. Sam Brownback has yet to visit us this year.
    Page 2 of 2 - Todd Tiahrt and Mike Pompeo were at the forum. Tiahrt bought a Wheat Fest button and walked in the parade. Pompeo had a large contingent in the parade, but I didn’t see him in the parade.
    James Jordan is editor at the Wellington Daily News. He may be reached at jjordan@wellingtondailynews.com

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