Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 101
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for August 23, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

I have noted several comments lately about possibly reviving the Old Drum Days fall festival in Warrensburg. It seems that some in 'authority' want to revive the failed "empty streets and beer garden" approach of the last several years, while other 'just plain folks' would like to see the crowded streets and crafters with an affordable 1-day fest. I tend toward the latter. Booths on both sides of the street can still leave a fire lane and concentrate the activities to give them a more exciting feel. Lower prices bring in more booths. The beer garden can still be there for the evening. The only thing a 1-day fair precludes is the sleazy carnival.

Back in November 1999, I put forth some ideas to stimulate Old Drum Days. I'd like to offer them up again, gratis, as something worthwhile that the tourism room tax could be used for.

Make everything 'doggy' - from music to food to carnival prizes to floppy ears on the beauty queens' crowns. Let 3-on-3 basketball participants vie for the 'Hound of the Basketballs' trophy. Have a 'putting on the dog' fashion promenade with poodle skirts and Senator Vest impersonators. Try a doggie song karaoke contest with renditions of 'Hound Dog,' 'Doggie in the Window,' 'Old Dog Tray' and Chuck Berry's 'walking the dog' routine. Hog calling? Let's have a Lassie-calling contest.

Picture CMSU Greek groups competing in 'wiener relays' (relay races with plates of slippery hot dogs), a new Old Drum Trial play at the Historical Society, a dog art show sponsored by the Art Department, and the creative writing group reading dog poetry (a doggerel contest?). Local restaurants can bake a world record dog biscuit. Booths will sparkle with dog collars, dog dishes, dog trinkets and other canine crafts.

Sell gourmet wiener dinners at 'Le Jardin de Phideaux,' formerly the beer & brats area. For entertainment feature a 'Three Dog Night' revival.

Of course, have plenty of activities for the real dogs - a standard dog show, a poker-playing dog costume show, working dog demonstrations, etc. Local vets can hold doggie health clinics and pet welfare groups offer "adopt a dog" displays.

Let the billboards read 'Warrensburg - Gone to the Dogs' - we'll draw crowds and have a great time!

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