SOAPSUDS HOLLOW - QUARRY DAYS EDITION: Shriners longtime friends of annual celebration
June 24. 2014 1:12PM
This coming weekend is a big one for Dell Rapids. Quarry Days.
It doesn't seem possible that this is the 27th annual Quarry Days. I can still remember when Doc Juba got the ball rolling for the first one.
We had lots of fun during the first few Quarry Days celebrations. There was a Quarry Days scholarship, and one of the events was a salad luncheon/fashion show at St. Mary’s, which Darlene Schnieders spearheaded. I would rent a tuxedo in order to properly emcee the event. We wanted it to be a big deal.
Quarry Days has survived the test of time, even though many of its highlights have changed through the years. The parade has grown into a very large event, and this year's parade is one you won't want to miss. Besides being the Quarry Days parade, it is also the Potentate's Parade for the El Riad Shrine Temple of Sioux Falls. Area businesses and bands will parade in Dell Rapids on Saturday, and so will hundreds of Shriners.
Big deal, you say? It definitely is.
"When the Potentate calls for a parade and you're a Shriner, you had better be there or have a very good reason why not," said Allen Brown, Dell Rapids resident and Shriners Temple member.
The El Riad Shrine Temple has also survived the wrath of Father Time. This year, the civic group specializing in helping child burn victims celebrated its 127th year of public service.
With nearly 1,700 members, the El Riad Shrine Temple has 30 uniformed units, including a big band, a fife and drum corps, chanters chorus, clowns and countless others. Their Motor Corps, a motorcycle unit, is the only Shrine Motor Corps in North America riding Harley Davidson Police Motorcycles.
One of my high school classmates, Wayne Johnson, is in the Fife and Drum Corp unit, and will be in the parade. That's very fitting this weekend, as we are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of our high school graduation (DRHS Class of '74).
Dell Rapids has been well represented in the El Riad Temple, just as the Temple has been well represented over the years in the Quarry Days parade. Members include Allen, Charlie, Dick and Kelly Brown, Don Christensen, Mark Dunn, Wayne Johnson, Doug Schneider, Roger Dearduff, Gary and Jeff Smith, and Lyle and Jim Sturdevant. Lyle Sturdevant was the 1996 Potentate, and Charlie Brown was the 2006 Potentate.
Besides having fun at parades, the Shriners care for children with their 20 children's hospitals across the Nation. They also have hospitals in Mexico City and Montreal.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Parade participants will meet at Dell Rapids High School and travel south on Garfield Avenue for the largest parade of the year in Dell Rapids.