Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2017

Salem’s Old Settlers has been bringing families together for 134 years

Aug 28, 2017
Photo by: Karyn Spory Salem was a busy place this past weekend, Aug. 25 - 27, as the community held the 134th annual Old Settlers celebration. The event featured live music every evening, community meals and a parade.

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News

 

SALEM — Joyce Welcher spread a blanket out near the edge of the curb for herself and her seven-year-old granddaughter, Logan Welcher. She pulled out a deck of cards and quickly shuffled them, Logan’s eyes narrowing as she surveyed the hand she’d been dealt. That was until the sirens signaled the beginning of the 134th annual Old Settlers Day parade in Salem and as quickly as her grandmother had shuffled the cards, Logan had traded in her cards for a plastic bag to collect candy in.

“I like playing cards with Grandma, but getting the candy is my favorite part of the parade,” said Logan. The two had been playing rummy.

Joyce, who resides in Mt. Pleasant, said she wasn’t sure how long she’s been coming out to Salem’s Old Settlers, but at least since her kids were small. Now she comes out to see her grandkids enjoy the festivities. “This morning we came out to see my grandchildren, Caden and Emma, run in the kid’s fun run,” she said. “I’m not sure where they are right now, I can’t keep track of them, but that’s one thing about Salem, I don’t worry about the kids.”

Deb Hudson’s granddaughter, Morgan, was playing with a gaggle of other kids in the park before the parade. “The kids have not missed a beat,” Hudson said. “We were a little worried when the Sweet Fun Carnival canceled, but the Old Settlers Committee brought out some bounce houses and that has kept the kids busy.”

Hudson, a Salem resident, has been attending the weekend event for over 40 years. “I love all of it,” she said. “I get to see old friends who come back for (Old Settlers) and the entertainment is great. It’s just a great place to bring the family.”

There were plenty of families out enjoying the cool morning temperatures and light breeze Saturday morning, beginning with a pancake breakfast at the fire department and fun runs for both kids and adults. Norma Panther drove from Iowa City to participate in the 2.2-mile adult run with her father, Orlo Moehle, who was the oldest participant at the age of 86.

“I grew up in Mt. Pleasant and I remember coming down for (Old Settlers) as a kid. Now my kids and their families come down and we all run together,” she said.

Panther said she was in awe of how such a small community could continually put on such a fun and well attended event. “The residents put so much into this to keep it going; it’s really neat to see this thriving.”

For Mt. Pleasant resident Denny Heaton, Old Settlers isn’t just about spending time with his family, he enjoys catching up with old acquaintances. “I like coming back and seeing people who live here and renew acquaintances.”

Heaton began his morning with the fire department’s pancake breakfast and was looking for his grandkids who were going to be in the parade. “This is just a great way to spend the day and what a wonderful day for it,” he said.

Sabrina Matthews has been on the Old Settlers Committee for seven years now and said she was happy to hear people were enjoying the festivities. “I’m excited (visitors say) that we’re doing a good job. It just shows how great our community is,” said Matthews. “We just want to bring a little fun to everyone.”

Old Settlers kicked off Friday evening with a car cruise and the band Amarillo and wrapped up Sunday with church services in the park followed by Bluegrass Bondies and a community pot luck.

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