Spotlight on Ag Days events

By Tony Hooker
Bruce Allen-Ag Days chairman
How long have you been involved in Ag Days?

I started right after the Villa Grove Centennial Celebration, so that’s 15 years.

What led you to become involved with Ag Days?

I saw what the other people who volunteer were doing and I wanted to help. Chris Walburn told me that he needed help. We still need help! <smiles>

What should people who come out expect?

I’m really excited about Terry Brown getting involved and bringing her ‘original artists’ to the event. Of course, I like the parade and the tractors. We would love to have more tractors involved. We’ve got some good prizes, and drivers get a free sandwich and drink.  

Is there anything you would like to add?

I really feel good about Villa Grove School getting more involved. I would also like to mention that the bloodmobile will be back. I think they’ve been here for over 30 years. Of course, the VFW ladies’ auxiliary is here, year after year.  

From 1-3, Fehr-Graham will be offering tours of the new water plant. It belongs to the people, so they should come in and take a look. Finally, I’m looking forward to the Gunny Sack Review on Sunday.

Kiddie Tractor Pull-Rory Gunter
How long have you been involved with the Kiddie tractor pull?

This is my third year.

What led you to become involved?

The person who was doing it before stepped down, and so I got involved.

What should people who come to the tractor pull expect?

Nothing has changed really. It will just be a bunch of kids, working hard to win.

Is there anything new this year?

Ag Days has purchased brand new tractors, so it’s nice that we don’t have to borrow them anymore.

Anything you would like to add?

Just that sign ups are the day of the event, and it’s sure to be a fun time for all.

3 on 3 Basketball-Gavin Gunter
How long have you been involved with the 3 on 3 event?

This is my first year.

What led you to become involved?

I love basketball, it’s a passion of mine.  My family is very involved in the community, so I wanted to become a part of that too, and when Dan decided to step down, I was given an opportunity. 

What should people who come to the tournament expect?

They can expect something similar to what it’s been over the years. They will have fun and enjoy some good basketball.

Is there anything new this year?

Not really. Dan (Sappenfield) did a great job, so there’s not a lot to change.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

There will be no adult division this year. Per Dan, there were too many problems in the past. I’ve always thought the 3 on 3 tournament is a good time, and a great way to kick off Saturday at Ag Days.  

Ag Days 5k-Jim Kestner
How long have you been involved with Ag Days?

This will be my third year.

What led you to get involved?  

My good friend Tony Hooker called and asked if I could help him with it! <both laugh> I’ve been a part of the local running community for years, so when you called, it was a no brainer!  

What should people who come to the 5K expect?

It’s a fun event, in conjunction with Ag Days activities. There will be plenty of things to do before the race, and lots of food and drink afterwards. It’s great that the race ends at the State Bank stage, because finishing in front of a crowd is always exciting.  

Is there anything new this year?

No, nothing new.

Is there anything you would like to add?

This event is the main fundraiser for the Villa Grove Junior High Cross Country team, so anyone, even non-athletes who wish to support new runners between grades 5-8 should come out. We are also joining with “A Pace for Petey” 5k in Tuscola as a joint event.  

Demolition Derby-Betsy and Travis Orwick
How long have you been involved with Ag Days?

Since day one of the derby, 15 years.

What led you to become involved?

Jeff Palmer started the derby, and he asked us to help out. When he stepped down, we took over.

What should people who come to your event expect?

A bunch of crashing cars! <laughs> As always, JFL will have concessions at the event, and Ross Elston will be DJ’ing and emceeing the event.

Is there anything new this year?

Not really, other than the fact that it will be all wire classes this year. The dance team will be selling 50/50 tickets, and the Sidney Dairy Barn’s Moo Mobile will be on site.  

Is there anything you would like to add?

You can expect to have a lot of fun with a couple hundred friends! We couldn’t do it without our sponsors, for sure. We’ll have fire departments from Villa Grove and Camargo there. Longview, Broadlands, and Pesotum are usually there too, and we can’t do it with out them. This event wouldn’t be possible without all of our volunteers.  No one gets paid to be there, and our whole family, even our daughter, comes out and works the event.  

Talent Show- Amy Rose
How long have you been involved in Ag Days?

I’ve taken some time off, but this is the third time I’ve been involved in the talent show.  

What led you to be involved?

I’ve done it in the past, as I said, and with Tyler not being available, they asked me to help and I stepped up. Jeri Cardiff will be helping me, as well.

What should people who come to the talent show expect?

We’re hoping to have a lot of good talent, with a variety of acts and entertainment.

Is there anything new this year?

Hopefully, there will be some new acts for everyone to enjoy!

Is there anything you would like to add?

First, second and third will receive prize money. We’ll have onsite registration, beginning at 6 p.m., and we hope to have a good crowd.  

Cornhole tournament-Travis Parsley
How long have you been involved with the Cornhole tournament?

This is my first year running it, but I’ve been playing in it for a long time.

What led you to be involved?

Cassandra (Mayor Gunter) asked me to become involved, and since I’ve been playing for so long, it seemed like an easy decision.  

What should people who come to your event expect?

It’s a good time. Family and friends getting together for fun and cash prizes.

Is there anything new this year?

No. It’s the same format as always. You play to 21 and must win by 2.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Just that we’re looking to have a good time and a chance to maybe win a little money.

CU Bands and Fans-Original Artists- Terry Miller Brown
How long have you been involved in Ag Days?

This is my first year, officially.

What led you to become involved in the Original Artists’ performance?

I’ve always sort of been involved, through photography and promoting the event, but this is a chance to bring some really talented acts to Ag Days.

What should people who come to the original artists’ performances expect?

All of the acts will be performing original music, no covers. And the artists will range from acoustic acts to hard rock. They’re from all ages and backgrounds. Drew Cagle, from Fisher, will be performing on Friday. He’s young, but he’ll be playing piano and he’s got this seventies rock voice.

Is there anything you would like to add?

We’re looking to bring some new faces to Ag Days, as these acts have a following and families. They’re not getting paid for this, but they will have merchandise and CD’s available. I’ve seen all of these acts and they’re really talented. Villa Grove is in for one hell of a surprise!

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