Good Ol’ Days Begins At The End Of May: Lavetta Simmons Is the Parade Grand Marshal



Good Ol’ Days on Main Street, 2023.

The 43rd annual Fort Scott Good Ol’ Days will happen May 31 through June 1 with the theme “Where Our History Comes to Life” said the steering committee chairman, Shawn O’Brien.

The kick-off is Friday, May 31,  from 4:30-6 p.m. with the chicken dinner catered by Chicken Marys for $10 for a two-piece dinner including  German potato salad, creamy cole slaw bread, and water.
“You can purchase your tickets at the Fort Scott Chamber office, 231 E. Wall,” O’Brien said. ” Pick up will be at the corner of Wall and Main.  You can drive through on the east side at Wall Street and Scott Avenue.”
The beginning of the parade in 2019.
“The largest parade of the year starts  Friday at 6 p.m. at 6th and Main Street,” he said.  “We are delighted to announce that Lavetta Simmons has been selected as this year’s Grand Marshal. Each year, our committee has the privilege of recognizing individuals who stand out and shine in our community, and Lavetta’s unwavering dedication to Care to Share has truly captured our hearts.”
Lavetta Simmons was one of the founders of Care to Share, an organization that supports cancer patients and their families.
“Lavetta’s heartfelt commitment to Care to Share over the years has left an indelible mark on countless lives,” he said. “Her compassion and kindness have provided solace and support to numerous cancer victims, survivors, as well as their families and friends. Though Lavetta has retired from her role at Care to Share, her dedication to service continues as she now attends to her family, serving as the epitome of the best babysitter. Join us in celebrating Lavetta Simmons and her remarkable contributions to our community.”
“This year we will feature some great entertainment on the stage at Skubitz Plaza,” O’Brien said. “Friday night will kick off at 7 p.m. with Nathan Ast Band followed by Blane Howard. Blane returns to Fort Scott for his second show. We are excited to host him again as he always has a great show.”
The stage at Skubitz Plaza will feature free entertainment.
“We will have local artists Jericho Jones and Holly Crays on Saturday, he said.  “Then finish out the Saturday evening with Left of Center which will play some great music along with karaoke. Bring your lawn chairs and come out and enjoy live music that features some great artists.
“The Red Garter show will return thanks to Kenny Clary and his wonderful group,” he said. “They always have an energy-packed show. This year they will have their show in the Liberty Theatre. We are excited to partner with a generous sponsor to host this show in the beautiful downtown Liberty Theatre.”
The Red Garter show will kick off Friday at 7 p.m. for one show, then resume Saturday at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a show every hour.
Jared Leek in the Good Ol’ Days parade in 2016.
“Jared Leek, owner of Liberty Theatre, an icon of the parade, will appear on the magical bike and we are so thankful for all the years that he has represented something that dates back to the start of the Good Ol’ Days”.

Many great family activities are planned for Saturday.

“We will have a bounce house at 3rd and Main Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $5 unlimited bouncing. Tulsa Gelly Ball will return this year at 2nd and Main. They have always been a family fun event. There is a cost for each participant, hide, roll, and avoid being shot at through a maze of obstacles. We will also offer free balloon artist and caricature drawings. These have been a great hit over the past few years.”

“We have some new food trucks coming in, and locals that will feature tacos, burgers, chicken, Hawaiian dishes, BBQ, fried fish, fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and much more,” he said.
Good Ol’ Days food truck.
‘The food trucks are always a huge hit as they feature fun options that we can’t get locally. We are excited to feature some new food that we have not had before,” he said.
Vendors and sponsors are needed for the event.
The steering committee chairman is O’Brien, Vice Chair Charlotte Thompson, Secretary Kayla Hall, Treasurer Cheryl VanHoecke, Fort Scott National Historic Site representative Carl Brenner, and members, Tim VanHoecke, Shaylynn Clements, Angel Wilson, and Trey Sharp.
To learn more:
O’Brien has been on the committee for 11 years and chairman for 5 years.
Shawn O’Brien,
“I want to thank our community for their generous support and contributions,” he said. “Our festival would not be possible without so many volunteers and passionate people. The City of Fort Scott is gracious with their city workers, the Fire department and Police department and so many countless others.”
“This will be my last year as chairman, and I am looking forward to enjoying the Good Ol’ Days as I did 12 years ago strolling down the street and enjoying the food, crafts, and fun,” he said. “If you would like to become a part of the committee, please let me know as we are looking for people to join our fun team.”

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