If you asked people what the overall vibe of the 2017 Marion Town Party was this past Saturday night, most would answer “young, vibrant.”
This year, the Town Party Committee really stepped it up. The activities for kids were more varied than ever with a rock climbing wall free for the kids, free face painting, free popcorn and ice cream, and a DJ providing all of their favorite pop songs that led to hours of dancing in the street.
“I think this is a fantastic turnout,” said Donna Hemphill, member of the Town Party Committee. “It’s busier, even much earlier. It’s a fantastic vibe. The weather couldn’t be better…. As a whole, it’s absolutely fabulous. Just an awesome way to end the summer.”
As people young and old, families small and large, residents new and seasoned enjoyed the food, music, drinks, and each other’s company, at least 25 volunteers were bustling about preparing food, organizing, and collecting money – all of which goes to benefit the Marion Fire Department and the Recreation Department.
“We had an amazing turnout of sponsors this year,” said Hemphill. And many residents donated food and in-kind services. “We try to keep it free, affordable, and fun for the kids.”
Chairman of the Town Party Committee Chris Berg said, “It takes the whole community. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
Well into the evening, the kids continued their dance competitions in the street and, when it came time to light the old bonfire, which was 14 pallets wider than last year’s bonfire, soon-to-retire Police Chief Lincoln Miller enjoyed the honor of igniting the fire with the blowtorch.
“It was like lighting a really big grill … with a blowtorch,” said a grinning Miller.
And just like that, a hundred potential DIY projects went up in flames.
Recreation Department Director and Selectmen Chairman Jody Dickerson commented on how many young families and young people turned out for the party.
“The vibe is young and vibrant,” Dickerson said. “This party is made possible by all the community donations. This year sales are up, the crowds are bigger.…”
Selectman Norm Hills said he’s lived in a lot of places over his life, “But this is the only town I’ve ever lived in that does anything like this.”
“It’s small town living at its finest,” said Hemphill, “and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
By Jean Perry