AUDIO: Arkalalah Parade Grand Marshal, longtime Ark City educator David Stinemetz ready for Saturday

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Arkalalah 2023 is underway in Ark City and this year’s parade grand marshal, longtime USD 470 high school educator David Stinemetz, is ready for it.

Stinemetz, who went to his first Arkalalah in 1954 and since has taught generations of Ark City youth for 52 years and counting, told Bob FM Thursday morning he was surprised and flattered by his selection as grand marshal.

“To begin with, it’s big,” Stinemetz said about the parade and Arkalalah in general. “I think it’s probably the largest Octoberfest celebration in this part of the state, anyway, so it draws people in from all over. Secondly, it’s our one big blowout, if you’ll excuse the term, it’s our one big blowout as a community through the year. It’s when we all get together and as I say, renew old acquaintances and friendships.

“The one year that I remember that we didn’t have it, the COVID year of course, the year just seemed incomplete.”

The 91st edition of the annual fall festival kicked off Wednesday at 11 a.m. in downtown as 31 food vendors opened shop.

The carnival opened at 6 p.m. Wednesday night followed by a  fireworks show sponsored by Rogers Family Dentistry and Community National Bank that greenlit the Parade of Lights, sponsored by Evergy.

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Cowley College will again present DodgeBallalah Thursday night inside W.S. Scott Auditorium. Admission is free. The Arkalalah All Class Reunion, sponsored by Rock & Brews Casino, is also Thursday night from 7-11 p.m. inside the Burford Theatre, 118 S. Summit. Admission is also free and will feature a cash bar and karaoke.

Wednesday night Arkalalah photos by Brady Bauman

The full Arkalalah schedule, including information on Etzanoa site tours, Hula lessons for this year’s “Aloha Arkalalah!” theme, and the Cornhole Tournament on Friday from noon-2:30, sponsored by KSOK/Bob FM and the Arkalalah Committee, is available here.

The Arkalalah Big Parade will be at 2 p.m. on downtown Summit Street.

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