Tag Archives: August Celebration

The Fair

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The Fair

I’m so proud to share this from THEKITCHENSGARDEN… Cecilia captures in photographs and words what makes our ‘small town’ so special… Barbara

thekitchensgarden

Every year our little local town, a small town with a big heart, hosts a local fair. show-032

The Fair has been going on for more than 160 years now.  The side shows are deliciously gaudy and the food is inedible on the street,  but that is what it is all about and there is a whole hall filled with pickles and cakes and breads and vegetables for the judging ( I hope to visit them tomorrow) , but there is a charm and deep local presence that makes this a very special day.  show-015The people who show their animals with such pride are also nodding with gratitude to a fecund  past filled with glory and vigor.  There is an iron clad connection straight back through almost 200 years of the very same event.  This is where small town America will not give up.  It has taken a beating but refuses to lie down…

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Smoke Filled Balloons in Cullom

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One of the First Balloon Ascensions in Cullom

One of the First Balloon Ascensions in Cullom

Although it is not known exactly when Cullom had the first balloon ascension, there is a newspaper account from 1898 of one taking place that August and reporting it as a success.

Some even assume that Cullom holds the distinction of having kept the tradition of a balloon ascension during the annual August Celebration longer than any other town in the United States.

It took hours to fill the smoke filled balloons

Spectators would watch for hours as a kerosene fire was lit that produced the smoke and hot air which inflated the balloon,

Spectators would watch as a kerosene fire was lit that produced the smoke and hot air which inflated the balloon

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According to the Cullom Centennial Book ~ A Century of Memories, this photo was taken in 1963

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I love all the cars lines up along Maple Street,

What great cars lined up along Maple Street in 1948

I remember as a kid you would spend the afternoon watching the preparations for the balloon launch.

I remember spending the afternoon watching the preparations for the balloon launch

 

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

One of the best known balloonists that came to Cullom was Claude Shafer.  He would jump from the balloon with a parachute.  Professor Shafer made the annual trek to Cullom until the 1960’s when Peter Krieg took over the annual tradition.

These photos were used in the 1982 Centennial Pageant.  I’ve got more, I’ll post them later…

Barbara