Those looking for outdoor fun at Goessel Harvest Festival Saturday may have missed the boat as most planned activities for the afternoon and evening were moved indoors to Goessel Elementary School because of cold temperatures. However, those who bundled up and caught the remote control plane show west of Voth Field behind Goessel High School saw airplanes, gliders, and helicopters performing aerial acrobats at heights up to 500 feet and lighted displays after dark.
Members of the Newton Area Radio Control Club (NARCC), which includes three flyers from Goessel — Dan Bergen, Norman Schmidt, and Don Hiebert — put on an aerial display of high flying tricks and maneuvers, as much for their own enjoyment as any.
“I’ve done this since I was 14-years-old,” said George Moland of Hesston. “Both of my sons, now grown, also fly, and any decent day we’re out flying. It’s just fun. You have to love aviation and the thought of getting something off the ground.”
Bergen agreed that a love of aviation was necessary for someone to take up radio control flying, as well as a sense of humor.
“You have to be intrigued by flight,” he said. “You also have to be able stay away from the trees, and if you can’t, be able to crash a lot of money and walk away from it without getting all bent out of shape.”
After dark, the aviation enthusiasts lit up the sky with their planes equipped with different colored lights.
“Just last weekend in Newton we had the local sheriff come by to see what was going on,” Moland said. “Someone had reported strange lights in the sky. If you don’t know what it is, someone might think it’s a UFO.”
Moland’s son, Tim, said he liked to use lights on his planes so when they went up to 500 feet he could still see them.
“Sometimes they get so high you lose them in the atmosphere,” he said. “The lights help keep track of them.”
Meanwhile at the elementary school, a variety of food and entertainment kept hands busy and toes tapping. The Goessel FFA served a pulled pork meal with homemade pie, and Goessel FCCLA members mixed and fried regular and pumpkin flavored funnel cakes in the lunchroom. Jammin’ Biscuits, a local band, played bluegrass and country favorites for a small crowd in the gymnasium. A petting zoo and other children’s activities took place earlier in the afternoon, also indoors.
“The weather kind of put a damper on our plans, but it was still fun to get out and celebrate with the community,” said Goessel City Clerk Anita Goertzen.
The Goessel Harvest Festival committee sponsored a movie basket drawing, won by Alisha Weiser and family of rural Goessel. Earlier in the morning, about 20 participants took part in the early morning Harvest Festival Fun Run, and a handful of community members joined the local fire department volunteers for a fund-raising breakfast at the station.