---- — One of the polished diamonds of Howard County is the Haynes Apperson Festival! Thousands of hours are invested each year in organizing events catered to community interests and family fun. Amusement rides, concerts, food vendors, car shows, poker tournament, fireworks, parade and the sports festival remind us that Kokomo is alive and moving along very well.
In two weeks it all kicks off, and for many, anticipation is mounting. One of the qualities of a healthy, wholesome city is opportunities to participate in organized sporting events. Kokomo, this is your moment to enjoy a vast array of activities; literally, something for everyone. Check out our website at HaynesApperson Festival.org, and register for one or more events. Participating in one Kokomo’s finest weekends of wholesome fun and activity will bring wellness and long lasting memories to your family.
Here’s a look at the events this year:
Kids track meet – Certainly the most heart-warming event of the festival as children 2 through 10 compete in sprinting and long jump competitions at Kautz Field.
Beach volleyball – Co-ed and single-gender teams will compete for the championship at Jackson Morrow’s sand pits. It’s divided into high school and adult levels.
4-mile race/3-mile walk – Winding their way through the streets of downtown Kokomo, over 400 runners and walkers line up for a morning of racing and healthy activity. If you are in shape or getting in shape, this event is for you since both experienced and novice athletes participate.
1-mile fun run – Start your Saturday morning at Memorial Gym. Children and adults of all ages are welcome to run in this low key race.
Karate – Eddie Bethea is one of the finest instructors in the world. Watch these athletes compete on Saturday morning at Memorial Gym.
Golf – Chippendale Golf Course holds host to our annual golf outing. Best ball teams should sign up for a wonderful day on the links.
Sunburst 74-mile bike ride – Tour the beautiful Indiana countryside as you head north to Mississinewa Reservoir and Pipe Creek Falls and back. Plenty of sag stops and camaraderie await you.
Youth 3-on-3 basketball – Kokomo coach Brian McCauley heads up this competition. Grab two teammates and compete for bragging rights in Howard County. Elementary and High School divisions compete separately.
Men’s 3-on-3 basketball – If you still have skill, let’s see it. Sign up today. Many great games have been played in Foster Park over the years and we expect more on July 4th weekend.
Free throw contest – Sharp shooters wanted! Kokomo has always been noted for its fine free throw shooters. Keep this tradition alive. Old timers and kids of all ages are expected.
Men’s and women’s softball – Softball competitions were a huge success last year with hundreds of players and 40 teams. Heated rivalries and great old fashioned competition is what makes this event so successful. Get your team together, this event fills up quickly.
Tennis – Grab your racquet for singles and doubles competition. This event is open to people of all ages to enjoy because Kristine Miller always puts together a great tournament.
Youth softball – Our second year of play, all area teams and coaches are welcome to compete and enjoy a wonderful weekend of summer on the diamonds.
Corn hole – I am not sure of all the reasons for corn hole’s popularity; probably somehow linked to the values of the good old Midwest. We know that the sport is thriving in Kokomo, so grab a partner and sign up for the double-elimination tournament.
Pull up competition – Test your muscular endurance with competition bracketed into age group categories. We especially welcome wrestling and gymnastics teams to sign up.
100-meter dash – Who’s the fastest man and woman in Howard County? Divided into five year increments to provide age-appropriate competition for all, meet outside Memorial Gym to calculate your speed and strength. Lots of fun and good-humored bragging rights on the line.
Pole vault – if you have jumped in the past, dust off the rust and join the outdoor street vault. If you do not have access to a pole, we will provide several sizes. Family and fans enjoy the luxury of standing along the runway for close up cheering.
Pre registrations are due on Wednesday to insure a keepsake festival T-shirt and lower cost. Or, show up the day of the event and have tons of fun. Please refer to the aforementioned website for event location, contact information and pricing. What a weekend! The Haynes Apperson Festival is purposely and cheerfully designed for your enjoyment and wellbeing. Plan to join us for as much fun as your heart can stand.
Dana Neer is a local coachand fitness enthusiast who contributes a monthly column.He may be reached by email at Dana.Neer@Culver.org.