By Gabriel Maier
On Saturday, Aug. 26, a large storm swept over Mexico, Mo. Sheets of rain slammed into the ground with the force of bricks, and wind blew through the streets faster than a person could run. Unfortunately, that was also the day that the second half of the Mexico Soybean Festival was meant to happen.
For the first few hours of the day, vendors and booth organizers were kept away, because the conditions were not safe for them. Some of the people helping to run the festival were upset at having to postpone the day’s activities.
“I hated having to tell people to pack up and leave,” one man said as he helped set up a tent. “I hope that rain doesn’t pick up again. The last thing we need is a flood during the festival.” Fortunately, the rain didn’t pick up after that. As the vendor booths started getting set up again, people came out of their homes to explore the festival.
Many food vendors had a rough go on Friday, because the temperatures were in the mid-to-upper 90s. Some vendors were upset by the lack of business, but others understood that heat tends to drive off appetite. However, vendors from the 581 restaurant in town said they had quite a bit of business.
“I’d say we had at least 100 people come by for some food,” one of the 581 vendors said.
Food vendors reported having much more business on Saturday once the sun made an appearance and the rainstorm had cooled things down a bit.
There were many different activities set up, as well. A favorite was the dunk tank. Local teachers decided take purchase on the dunk take seat, where any student they had given bad grades to were free to drench them to their heart’s content.
There was also an area set up by the group Conner’s Avengers Fight Against Fentanyl, a drug-awareness group founded after the 4th of July this year to bring awareness about fentanyl to the public. The group was named after Candence Brinker’s brother, Conner.
“My brother died on July 4 of this year from fentanyl poisoning, so we’re trying to bring awareness and show what fentanyl can do and why it’s not the best thing to do,” said Cadence.
The crowds were still thin after the storm, but many people came out in the afternoon, enjoying the nice 70-degree weather Mexico was experiencing. Families participated in carnival games, little children squealed in delight as they hit their target at the games, and older couples walked through the festival enjoying the liveliness on the streets.
In the afternoon, many of the festival’s carnival rides were started again. There was all variety of rides for both kids and adults, including the towering Ferris Wheel, the high-flying “Avengers” ride, the ever-present carousel, and the aptly named “Swinger,” the classic ride of spinning swings that lets people ride the wind.
“The swing ride is pretty fun,” one young man said. “It kind of lurches your stomach, but once you’re at the max height it’s got a great view.”
“I personally like that ‘Scat’ ride,” a woman said, mentioning the ride made up of two spinning bowls. “I’ve been on that before. It spins around real fast, and it feels like you’re flying.”
Despite the heat of Friday and the storm of Saturday, the organizers and vendors at the Mexico Soybean Festival refused to allow Mother Nature to cancel their event. A truly astonishing show of determination allowed the festival to go on, and crowds certainly appreciated having the festival.