Summer kicked off in a big way over the weekend with the advent of another successful Summerfest, the 23rd since its inception, to promote the downtown area.

Summer kicked off in a big way over the weekend with the advent of another successful Summerfest, the 23rd since its inception, to promote the downtown area.

Friday evening saw the Cruise-in from St. James down Route 66 and the crowning of Miss Meagan Evans, as Miss Route 66 2017 and Miss Ariana Young, as Miss Summerfest 2017. Families lounged on the lawn of the band shell for the Movie Under the Stars—Zootopia.

The humid early June weather threatened rain to the south but continued to hold off into most of Saturday. In the mid-morning light, the bounce houses were already popular with kids and there was an impressive line-up of vintage to late model cars, trucks and motorcycles on Pine Street for early visitors to check out.

The Crazy, Funny Dog Show was witnessed by an enthusiastic crowd at the band shell with a wide variety of pets that were works in progress for both obedience and tricks. The dogs, however distracted by the excitement of the event, still took to the stage with unbridled energy to see what all the fuss was about. The judges were Meagan Evans, Miss Route 66 2017, Ariana Young,  Miss Summerfest 2017, Dawn Smith of Central Federal and the Summerfest committee and Shelby O’Keefe with the Phelps County Animal Welfare League and the Rolla Animal Shelter. The winners were:

* Emily Forstrum with Dalilah took home the prize for Best Trick or Talent.
* Jeff Brown and Groot won Judges Choice
* Teena Jones was a repeat winner this year with Iris—The Most Lovable
* Steve Blakley with Chandler won Best Wagging Tail
* Chris Forstrum with Mowgli won Best of Show
* Johannah Garner with Belle won Most Obedient

The event was sponsored by Royal Canin, Central Federal Bank and K-9 Academy. Mike Kaelin of K-9 academy was the emcee.

As the day heated up, the food court started to perk up with offerings of funnel cakes, crispy chips, ice cream and cold drinks. Rolla Fire and Rescue parked their ladder truck with an elevated hose to mist the kids and a few adults, darting in and out of the wet coolness like hummingbirds to nectar. They were having fun!

The Rolla Summerfest Club Children’s Bicycle Race, sponsored by Forum Dental and organized by the Rolla Multi-Sport Club, took place under the bridge on 10th Street. It featured bikes of all types and young riders of various skill. (Sorry, last names were not available at the time this went to press)

The Three-Wheel Dash 5 and under
Number 41 Carson took first place, Number 42 Gabriel took second, followed by Number 40 Carina at third and Number 43 Logan in fourth.

For the Two-Wheel Dash 5 and under
Number 520 Carston took 1st place and Number 508 Blake took second, followed by Number 507 Wyatt taking 3rd and Number 507 Amantha taking 4th.

Single Speed Sprint 6-7 years-old
Number 21 Chason took first, Number 22 Mason took second, Number 23 Ben took third, followed by Number 24 Isaiah in fourth place.

Single Speed Sprint 8 to 10 years-old
Number 32, Gunther won 1st place with Number 33 Mara taking 2nd.

Over at 8th street, between Pine and Rolla, drawing a big crowd was the downhill derby. As of press time, we were not able to get the results of this race, but every type of design imaginable was present to give the gravity powered cars a speed advantage.

The only blight of the day came sadly when a contestant that had entered the hot dog eating contest fell ill and required emergency medical treatment. RDN contacted the Rolla Police Department to get an update on the condition of the contestant, but was told no information was available at this time.  Some of the contestants had downed five hot dogs at the time of the incident, so it was early into the competition. The event was understandably cancelled.

The children’s sandbox was busy, the pony rides were non-stop and the food court was doing a brisk business.

Saturday night concluded with the Burnout and a street dance featuring the band, Disorderly Conduct. Sunday wrapped the whole thing up with the Tennis Tournament. Now go tell some stories on the front porch or patio, catch some lightning bugs and hit the pool at SplashZone.  It’s officially summertime in Rolla and the livin’ is easy. Look for more photos of the event in Tuesday’s Rolla Daily News.