Party in Natoma

Many a youngster believes summer to be over now that public pools are closed and they're back in school. Traditionalists, however, usually eye Labor Day weekend as the more official end to the season.

As young and old alike prepare for the upcoming holiday weekend, we would remind adventure-seekers to consider the short jaunt over to Osborne County. The city of Natoma is planning a three-day celebration of its 125th anniversary -- and you're invited.

Natoma, which means "new born," has slated an old-time fest to mark the occasion. With a population of merely 335, the community has pooled most of them to volunteer for the event that will fete the Pioneer Spirit. Organizers promise fun, food and fellowship for all who attend.

Saturday's events include a mud volleyball tournament in the morning and a free dance from 9 p.m. to midnight with Jimmy Dee's Band at the Natoma City Park.

Sunday, a vintage baseball game will pit Natoma against the Rusell Prairie Clippers. Evening festivities will be a free chili supper followed by a Gospel Music Festival. On the playbill will be Crossroads; Sandy, Roz & Dereama; 4-Told men's quartet; and special guests. Representatives of local churches will talk about their histories, with additional stories and music coming from pioneer descendants.

On Monday, Labor Day, events run all day long. There will be a Heritage Seeker breakfast, car show, greased pig competition, art exhibits, re-enactments and demonstrations, a grand celebration parade and another free dinner. Many other activities are planned, including the grand opening of the Historical Museum.

All in all, it promises to be the city's biggest weekend of the year. Take the entire family to join in on the fun. Those wanting more information should call no less than Natoma Mayor Dale Eickhoff at (785) 885-8017.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net