News: Hatfield - Legacy of Fun Days (Sep 2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Ehlen, Nordin

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 9/17/2014

Legacy of Hatfield Fun Days (Continues – 2014)

By Ryan Spoehr

With the Hatfield Chamber of Commerce folding its operations earlier this year, the future of Hatfield Fun Days was put in jeopardy. However, Hatfield Fire and Rescue chose to take on organizing the event to keep the tradition going. With a few changes, there was still at least one day of fun for Hatfield.

“We just didn’t want it to go away because it is so hard to bring it back once it’s gone,” said Barb Ehlen, first responder coordinator for Hatfield Fire and Rescue. “It’s just a lot of fun. My husband and I had been coming up here for 20 years before we moved here, and we’d do the bed races and come to Hatfield Fun Days.”

The event this year was known as Hatfield Fun Day because the activities only took place on Saturday. There was no signature parade, but there was a tug-of-war added, which had originally been scheduled to be a tournament among area fire departments. It was initially just a round robin made up of Hatfield Fire and Rescue and fire departments in Alma Center (AC) and Merrillan. However, there was a bit of a surprise after AC beat both Hatfield and Merrillan. An independent team made up of some of the people who came to the event. There was a friendly wager involved, as the challenge included the losing team would have to buy the winning team a round of beers. AC continued its winning streak and won the challenge, but handshakes and high fives we e the theme after the victory between both teams.

The signature bed races were also a trademark at this year’s event. Event organizers said the number of teams was down from previous year, but there were still four teams to complete a bracket. The team known as “Speedy Bed Rollers” lived up to their team name and took first place with a time of only four minutes and 30 seconds. The team known as “If You’re Not First, You’re Last’ Came in second with a time of four minutes and 49 seconds. The team of “O-town Smackdown,” a team that came all the way up from Madison-suburb Oregon, came in third with a time of seven minutes and 19 seconds and the team of “You’ve Got to BE Kidding Me” came in fourth with a time of seven minutes and 23 seconds. First place received $40, second place received $30, third place received $20 and fourth place received $10.

There were also the minnow races and a bean bag tournament, which have been trademarks of the event in the past. Also, there was a scavenger hunt done by the Lake Arbutus Pavilion, sidewalk chalk outside the Lake Arbutus Pavilion and bingo at the Deerview Inn.

However, as Hatfield Fire and Rescue was able to pull it off, members said time constraints made it difficult. The department just had more than a month to put it together.

“It was kind of short notice to set it up, but I think it went pretty well,” said Gary Nordin, Hatfield Fire and Rescue chief. “I would’ve liked to see more people, but I think it went really well. At least the weather cooperated; it could have been much worse.”

It is not set in stone yet, but organizers said having Hatfield Fun Day next year is a distinct possibility.

“I see nothing but growth out of it,” Nordin said. “I’m pretty sure if we run it next year, we’ll have a parade and a run/walk.”

Prior to next year’s event, Nordin said he would like to see some more community involvement in the planning of the event because it was tough for the department to do it by themselves and he would like people to bring suggestions to the table. Also, he said if the event takes place, it would probably be only the one day, however, he is open to suggestions that may help it extend beyond just the Saturday.

“I myself think we could do just the one day of activities, but if there are community members who think it should be multiple days, please feel free to speak your opinion,” Nordin said.

Money raised from Hatfield Fun Day will go toward the Hatfield Fire Department building fund.




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