Updated: July 16: Chamber director talks about the 2014 Kansas Wheat Festival and horse ban in Monday’s interview

first_imgEditor’s clarification: July 16, 2014: Since this story was written and published on July 14, there has been dispute whether the Chamber Executive Director Shelley Hansel had said she was going to ban horses in the parade during an interview at the chamber office on Monday. Since this story has been written, the chamber board presented a letter to the public that no decision on the matter of the horses in the parade has been issued. It has been requested that we take this story down. Sumner Newscow refuses to do so because we stand by the contents of this story as it was presented at the time. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The crowds were bigger, the participants in contests were smaller and the term “remember when they used to have horses in the Kansas Wheat Festival parade?” is now a reality.For everything that happened during the five-day 2014 Kansas Wheat Festival – it’s always the bad unexpected things that people will most remember. The 2014 event will be marked by a parade participant Chelsea Easterly, who was bucked off her horse during Friday night’s parade.As a result, come next summer when the 115th Kansas Wheat Festival rolls around, horses will be prohibited from participating in the parade.“If you think about it now, it seems like a disaster ready to happen,” said Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shelley Hansel. “You have all these people compacted in one area a horse somewhere is bound to get spooked.“So I think for safety purposes, it’s best not to have them in the parade. I just thank God Chelsea wasn’t hurt severely in the accident. I truly believe there was a higher being looking down from above that helped cushion her fall.”Easterly did not sustain serious injury, other than bumps and bruises and a big goose egg on the back of her head after being taken to SRMC for observation.Easterly was part of a group of horseback riders and was riding along with a 4-year-old boy named “Aiden” in front of her when the horse for some unknown reason got spooked and bucked her off just south of the turn on Washington Ave. and Harvey.There were actually four groups in attendance who were riding horses and she was near the tail end. As a result the parade was cut short. There were three parade entries behind them, including the Kansas Shriners, who were unable to participate. Then there were those who were wanting to be in the parade but did not register. Thus they were placed at the end of the parade – which fate would prove they didn’t participate anyway.“It really could have lasted an hour long,” Hansel said of the parade.While the horse incident overshadowed the second big controversy of the parade and that was the new route. It changed due to the Kansas Ag Day Expo being in town that had many large farm implements parked on Washington from Harvey to Eighth Street. The parade usually goes straight through, but because of the expo it turned at Harvey and ended at Jefferson.“I don’t know if we’ll do it again next year or not,” Hansel said. “We just have to wait and see what the Expo people do. I had a few people complain about it while others liked it.”Overall, Hansel said the participation was up. The street dance and chamber beer garden saw significantly more customers. The carnival was again heavily attended.The big negative was the participation in contested events.“We were begging for people to participate in certain events just so we would have enough to hold them,” Hansel said. “Sometimes we would get a bunch of people coming in and participating at the last moment.”Hansel said the Festival also brought in a significant number of outsiders.“I was speaking to Kasha Kelly, the state representative over in Arkansas City,” Hansel said. “And she told me that she wished Ark City had a five-day event like this one. They have Arkalalah but that is a huge one day festival. She was impressed just how Wellington was able to pull it off.”Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (76) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… Commenting Disabled Further commenting on this page has been disabled by the blog admin. You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +9 Vote up Vote down momma of Aiden · 317 weeks ago i would love for everyone to get there facts straight. Report Reply 1 reply · active 317 weeks ago +21 Vote up Vote down guest · 317 weeks ago Perhaps portipottys should also be banned since a person had a seizure after getting too hot in one during the Wheat Festival. Report Reply 2 replies · active 317 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down lovewheatfest · 317 weeks ago I get it, but hate it!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +17 Vote up Vote down Becky · 317 weeks ago Maybe the beer garden should be banned, since it might result in someone driving drunk and killing someone else or themselves. Maybe the carnival should be banned in case someone would happen to fall off a ride and get hurt. Maybe the Wheat Run should be banned in case someone might fall or get too hot. Come on. …. change some things about where the horses are placed, if a horse is causing problems, the rider needs to take them out of the parade, but don’t ban them completely. Report Reply 2 replies · active 317 weeks ago +16 Vote up Vote down Guest 2 · 317 weeks ago Way to go Shelly. That was stupid to ban horses over one accident in how many years! Its not a wonder how many people feel about the chamber and the way they run things. Thats just stupid. Another reason to avoid the parade now. Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +20 Vote up Vote down Guest · 317 weeks ago The Wheat Festival this year seemed to be very unorginized especially the parade. Yes there was a lot more people attending but what a mess the parade was. Turning the corner was a big mistake. Maybe Ag Day and the parade should be on different days? Everyone was so bunched up and HORSES SHOULD be last. The parade itself was good but with it being a shorter distance caused people standing three and four deep not letting everyone see and with the throwing out of candy there was children running out to get it. Maybe that practice should be stopped. My hat is off to the Aviator Church for all their help. Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Boo-hoo! · 317 weeks ago Boo hoo! Get over it!! The majority of the parade has been taken over by politicians. Report Reply 1 reply · active 317 weeks ago +19 Vote up Vote down NO DOGS allowed · 317 weeks ago also i am tired of peoples dogs walking up to me, licking me, sniffing me and others, ppl this is not a place to bring dogs, keep them at home where they are cool and not out in large groups such as arts and crafts time, carnival and street dance, keep dogs at home, also with all the kids running around at the street dance, i am done i have one more thing but i will stop now. thanks Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +18 Vote up Vote down cheers · 317 weeks ago Well nice to know the attendance at the beer garden was up..maybe change the name to the Kansas Beer fest…i know that the chamber makes money on that event and sadly about the only one but it is placed between two business that serve Wellington. MAYBE put the stage back on main and let these folks make a living…NOW onto Horses..the rider in this case has been around horses her whole life and has alot of experience. Sometimes things happen. The sad thing is the knee jerk reaction by the chamber. Poorly timed and not well thought out. Take the horses out and the people running for office and well there is no parade. Report Reply 1 reply · active 317 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down no candy · 317 weeks ago I think the candy tossing should stop. Kids and adults were going to the middle of the street just to get a mini tootsie roll. They were standing in front of us who were sitting and were really rude. And it is dangerous for the kids who could get hit or run over. I may just avoid the parade next year. Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago 12345Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. 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