Posted 3 weeks ago
By John Axtell
Rushville is celebrating Labor Day this weekend with its annual Fun Days, highlighted by the Sunday night rededication of the new and improved Modisette Ball Field
Things get started tonight with Nebraska Humanities speaker Charlotte Endorf talking about the Orphan Train program, which between 1853 and 1929 relocated about 250,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children from the cities of the East to foster families…many of them in the Midwest.
Endorf, the author of 9 books, traveled more than 15,000 miles to interview the last surviving Orphan Train children and descendants of those who’d already died. Her talk, titled “Excess Baggage,” begins at 5:00 in the Security First Center.
There will be four dances are part of Fun Days….two each tonight and tomorrow. The American Legion is hosting one both nights from 9-11:30, while tonight has a Middle School Dance at the middle school cafeteria from 9-11:30. Tomorrow night’s other dance is a Street Dance by the 20 Bar.
Things begin bright and early on Saturday with a 5K Walk/Bike/Run…registration at 7:00 in the city park and the participants taking off at 7:30.
The annual Fun Days Parade begins at 10:00 with the theme Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The Grand Marshals are retired Omaha World-Herald publisher and Rushville native John Gottschalk and his wife Carmen. Their foundation provided much of the funding for replacing the old Modisette Ball Field complex.
A number of food booths or special meals at local eateries start after the parade. Activities besides eating include turtle and frog races, kids games, and swimming, with the pool open from noon-5:00. 1:00 also offers the option of a rodeo, a car show in the city park, and Western Styles in the Park
Sunday has breakfast at the American Legion from 7-11:00, pasture pool beginning at 9:00, and community church service in the park at 10:00…led by pastor Jason Funk.
The swimming pool opens again at noon again, there’s a co-ed softball tournament, and qualifying for the final event of Fun Days…a golf tournament on Monday at the Sandridge Golf Course.
The highlight of the weekend, though will be Sunday night’s Modisett Ball Park dedication and the first game on the new field. The dedication begins at 5:30 with the event and food free to the public. The first game begins at 7:00.
There will be a private donor recognition event at the Rushville Legion earlier at 2 PM to recognize those who helped make the restoration of this historic ballpark a reality.
Individuals and organizations gave over $250,000 to match the initial $250,000 challenge from the Gottschalk Foundation, a total that does not include large amounts of in-kind donations.
Fun Days also includes the first weekend of the Sheridan County Players production of Annie…actually the kid-performer friendly Annie Jr adaptation…in the historic Plains Theater…which celebrates its centennial this year. Curtain times are 7:30 Friday and Saturday nights and 2:00 pm Sundays this weekend and next.