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Community gathers together at Chaffee German Days festival
CHAFFEE, Mo. -- Hundreds flocked to the annual German Days festival at Frisco Park in Chaffee on Friday to experience food, browse vendors, support local organizations and enjoy the midway rides.
"Let me in, let me in," 3-year-old Mark Pfefferkorn yelled in his excitement to ride the big slide in the Midway.
"Went up and up," Mark said with a huge grin. "It was really faster."
He was there with his mother, Lora Pfefferkorn, his aunt, Melissa Chiles, and other family members, all Chaffee residents. Pfefferkorn and Chiles said it is a tradition for their family to get together at the festival every year.
"It's a good way of the community getting together," Chiles said.
Pfefferkorn said the rides have added a lot to the event, which she said they have watched grow yearly. Other rides included a Tilt-a-Whirl, the Scrambler and a bouncy castle.
"It's just a good time," Elks president Billy Van Pelt said of the festival.
"It's a way for the community of Chaffee to get out and visit," said Eric Seyer, co-chairman the Elks organization. "A yearly event to see people they haven't seen since last year. It's also a way for local organizations to raise money."
Friday night featured a beauty pageant for 1- and 2-year-olds. The little girls waved and blew kisses to the audience from the stage. The winner of the Little Miss Mini German was 1-year-old Scout Loretta Sadler. First runner up was 2-year-old McLayne Enderle. Jordan Shea Jones was second runner up.
Chaffee Boy Scout troop 51 had a "Dunk A Scout" booth where attendees could toss three balls for $1 in an attempt send a Boy Scout into a tank of water.
"The money is for the summer camp fund and for equipment," said Melissa Sullivan, a Boy Scouts committee member.
The Elks ran the beer stand and had a tent where they were selling fried chicken dinners. The money they raised pays for the sound system for the pageant and goes to support the community. Last year the Elks donated $10,000 locally for their charities, which include scholarships, drug awareness campaigns and youth league organizations.
Organizers said they were expecting up to 1,000 people to attend the festival to take part in the Saturday activities, including softball and beach volleyball tournaments with local teams, as well as some coming from Cape Girardeau and Marble Hill, Mo.; a tractor pull and a greased pig race in the afternoon; and a talent show in the evening. There was also a 16-1/2-foot-tall pole stripped of bark and greased up that people tried to shimmy up to grab dollar bills that are stapled to it. A $20 bill was stapled to the top.
"After a while the grease is worn off and they can climb up and reach the money," Van Pelt said.
The booths were varied. The Chamber of Commerce, VFW, and the Chaffee Historical Society were represented. Most of the booths and vendors were from local organizations.
Frisco Park, Chaffee, Mo.