A parade down Santa Fe Tuesday night kicked off the fun and festivities of the 2015 Tri-Rivers Fair.
A large crowd gathered to wave, cheer, and gather candy from the wide variety of colorful, and sometimes loud entries.
Among those in the parade was Miss Kansas, McKenzie Welsh. She told KSAL News that she was thrilled to be back in her hometown. The parade was the first big event she has been able to participate in locally since being crowned Miss Kanas. Welsh is a Salina native, graduating from Salina Central High School in 2014. She currently attends Oklahoma State University majoring in pre-medecine.
Also in the parade was was a 1946 Willys Jeep that was used by KSAL Radio in the 1950s through the 1970. The Jeep was used a work-horse type vehicle, and a mobile unit. It was a useful tool for the radio station, during several significant flood events in the 1950s, and in the early 1970s. It was seen at many events and parades around the area. By the late 1970s and into the early 1980s the Jeep’s age began to show, and it was parked at the KSAL transmitter site near New Cambria. Daily exposure to the elements, and to at least one more flood, rendered the Jeep inoperable. The radio station eventually put the Jeep up for sale, and it was purchased by Tom Pestinger of Salina. Pestinger decided he wanted to restore the Jeep to its former glory. Long-time KSAL employee Ken Jennison drove the Jeep in the parade, as Pestinger rode shotgun.
Wednesday is the first full day of the fair. The old favorites are back including things like the Ottawa Amusements Carnival, the rodeo, and the demolition derby. All of the booths and exhibits, and the FFA petting zoo will be open daily, Wednesday through Saturday.
New this year is “Redneck Madness”, Saturday night at Tri-Rivers Stadium. It includes a mini van demo, compact figure 8, lawn mower demo, ATV Rodeo, and power wheels demo.