Wessington is celebrating its annual Fun Day, sponsored by Wessington Economic Development Corp on Saturday, July 20. A breakfast brunch of French toast, eggs, sausage, coffee or juice starts off the Fun Day at the American Legion Hall. A 5K walk/run sponsored by the American Legion will be held that morning, also. Sunshine Senior Center will have rolls, pies and baked goods available. A co-ed softball tournament kicks off at 8 a.m. and will run from Saturday to Sunday.
Lunch/treat specials will be available at Cenex gas station/convenience store, Sunset Bar & Grill and R & B Food Center.
A variety of activities for kids and adults will be happening at the pool and park areas. The community pool will be open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Child Evangelism Fellowship, a ministry group from Huron, will provide free face painting and balloon tying from 11 a.m. to noon. Kids can also participate in making edible Play-doh.
Wessington Fun Day won’t be complete without the traditional Parade on Main Street, starting at 2 p.m.
Cash prizes and Wessington Bucks will be awarded to winners in the bean bag toss tournament and Duck-for-a-Buck, both beginning at 3 p.m.
The annual chili cook-off and pie baking contest will give cooks a chance to show off their skills. Entrants can drop off their pots of chili and pans of baked pies at the Legion Hall at 3 p.m., where they will be judged. Afterwards, the chili and pies will be served at 5:30 at the American Legion Hall for a free will offering to benefit the local library and the women of the First Presbyterian Church. Show off your musical talents by signing up for a Karaoke sing-along contest at Sunset Bar & Grill.
Each year Wessington Economic Development Corp recognizes certain individuals, businesses and families that have made a major impact and contributed significantly to the economic condition of Wessington over the years, as Parade Marshals. For this year, WEDC gives tribute to Vern’s Manufacturing and the parade theme is, “Go Vern’s Green.”
Wessington Blacksmith and Repair Shop was started in 1964 by LaVerne Kleinsasser, a local resident, whose goal was to provide a steady income for his growing family of six children, in addition to addressing a demand for a repair service for the Wessington area. In 1973, the business was renamed Vern’s Manufacturing as it saw the first order of 20 farrowing crates that added a new dimension to the blacksmith and repair shop. Over the years, Vern’s has shown a tremendous rise in demand for livestock equipment which included gates, portable corrals, feeder wagons, feeder panels, trailers, bale movers, feed bunks, trailers and an ever growing list of newly designed products used by local and regional farmers and ranchers.
Vern’s had its share of many challenges over the years from the fire in 1976 that threatened to destroy the business, to a severe storm in August 2011 that ripped part of the roofing of their main building. Vern’s replaced the damaged building with a new steel structure with geothermal heating. Vern’s Manufacturing is the largest employer in Wessington, and the business continues on the road to progress, sustainability and growth that in benefits the Wessington area.