Bubble Boy

Tristan Fusco attempted to blow the biggest bubble during a contest at Founders Day Saturday, June 2. Dustin Bailey recorded the attempt with a ruler. Winners were determined by age group.  Missourian Photo/Joe Barker.

A little bit of rain couldn’t ruin Founders Day.

Founders Day took place this past Saturday, June 2, at the city park. Union Parks and Recreation Director Angela Sullivan said despite a morning shower, the event wasn’t a wash.

“I was very pleased with the event as a whole,” she said. “Obviously, I wish that the weather would have cooperated a little bit better, but even with the soggy weather in the morning, once it stopped the crowd started to pick up and I think it was a good turnout.”

It was Sullivan’s first Founders Day. She took over the park director job in August.

“It was nice to see so many different groups of people — adults, families, kids, young and old,” she said. “It was nice to see the community come out for the event.”

Founders Day kicked off at 7:30 a.m. with a run sponsored by the Union Area Chamber of Commerce. The run featured a 5K and 10K course and went off without a hitch.

United Methodist Church hosted a breakfast following the race. Sullivan said the breakfast was popular and the group ran out of food.

The Kiwanis Club of Union and the United Bank of Union hosted a 3-on-3 basketball tournament which tipped off at 8:30 a.m. On the outdoor courts at the city park, a number of teams got several games in before Mother Nature came in.

A storm system blew into the area and dropped the temperature and plenty of rain. Sullivan said the basketball tournament was nearly finished and only a couple of games had to be moved inside Union Middle School.

The rain wasn’t welcomed, but it couldn’t have come at a better time, Sullivan said. The storm came early enough in the day and in a relative lull in the schedule.

Sullivan said organizers had to move back registration times for the washers tournament and kids’ games, but fortunately didn’t have to cancel anything.

The only downside to the storm was it chased some of the crafting booths away. Sullivan said several booth operators decided to pack up and leave because of the storm and the forecast of more rain.

“That’s something I hope we have better success with in the future,” she said.

Once the rain cleared, attendance picked up. Sullivan said face painter Jessica Ahner and balloon sculpting by Lollypop and Starburst were new this year and big hits.

“I don’t think they had a down time,” she said.

Founders Day also featured turtle races, a pedal tractor pull, a washer tournament and live music from the Starlighters, Paul Cokrum Trio and The Tall Poppies.

Overall, Sullivan said the day was a success. With her first Founders Day under her belt, Sullivan said she and other organizers are already making plans for next year.

Founders Day 2019 is tentatively set for June 1, she said.

Sullivan said organizers are still trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t this year. She said she’s brainstorming some new ideas for 2019.

One idea already being considered is a barbecue element. Sullivan said she’s already started looking into the possibility of a barbecue competition.