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Cruising NWKS: A fun, messy end to summer





NATOMA -- Nothing drew more interest here Monday than a small pen of pigs and a few gallons of Murphy's oil soap.

But something new in a long-lasting tradition is bound to do that. Monday was the 75th annual Labor Day Celebration here.

Natoma FFA sponsored its first-ever greased pig contest, after years of hosting farm olympics, and invited all ages to try to catch a pig to win prizes.

"A greased pig's always going to be fun," Don Krug, Russell, said as he watched from his lawn chair.

Krug's granddaughter, Shae Krug, is a senior at Natoma High School and a member of FFA. She said the school's agribusiness class had taken on pigs as a project this year --  deciding to raise and sell them during the course of the school year -- and the pig theme carried through to the Labor Day Celebration.

"They've always wanted to do this," FFA sponsor Jeremy Long announced to the large crowd assembled around the pen. "They found the pigs, so we did this for Labor Day."

Ranging in age from 5 years old to adults, the greased pig contest was a hit with participants and spectators.

"Really messy, but lots of fun," Shae Krug said after she spent much of her morning applying the soap to grease the pigs.

There were games for all ages across the downtown park area of Natoma on Monday. From three-legged races and cake walks to bicycle races and a basketball shooting contest, the celebration spanned the entire day.

"It's really nice when a small town gets together like this because not all small towns do anymore," Shae Krug said.

Erin Maupin returned to her roots Monday, with her children and their bicycles in tow. She said the Labor Day Celebration gives her the opportunity to let her children, Taevian, 5, and Aralen, 4, run around with other children without too many worries on her part. They participated in turtle and bicycle races, among other activities.

"I just enjoy seeing everybody and what their family has been up to," said Maupin, a Paradise native now living in Hays. "And to see how the town has changed."