• Last modified 2185 days ago (June 28, 2018)


Ramona loses 'redneck,' adds events

Staff writer

Ramona’s annual Independence Day celebration has a new date, new name, new organizers, new location, and new offerings this year. The event that used to be Redneck in Ramona is now Independence Day in Ramona.

Festival chairman George Thiel said some organizers remain the same, but some are different. Changes were needed because of declining attendance, he said.

“Last year they didn’t have more than a handful of people helping with it, and they were talking about doing away with it,” he said. “I said I had no problem with it. Suddenly it was mine.”

The date has been moved to July 7 to help boost attendance, Thiel said.

“Some people didn’t like the name.” Thiel said. “We moved it from downtown to the park. That way you’ve got trees, you’ve got shade. We’ve got water there, we’ve got power.”

Reduced attendance wasn’t all because of the name, he said.

“It was kind of a combination of things,” Thiel said. “One, it was during the week. There was a two-hour span between events. This year we’ve kind of spaced it out and scheduled everything so it goes all day, and there is something for kids and something for adults.”

Getting this year’s festival going was a financial struggle because organizers had to get a new insurance policy, Thiel said. The city council had allowed event coverage to lapse from its insurance policy, he said. The fire department stepped up and added the $400 coverage to its policy.

New this year will be a pin-up contest at 7 p.m., in which women will wear dresses, not lingerie, swimsuits, or inappropriate clothing.

“There is no skin,” Thiel said. “It’s done very professionally and it’s very family-oriented.”

Also new will be water balloon dodge ball, horseshoes, corn hole, bingo sponsored by VFW, and a cakewalk.

New vendors include Barkin Dogs barbecue, Herington Youth Center serving funnel cake, Taste of Home food truck, and Flamethrowers Barbecue by the fire department.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Thiel said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone.”

Last modified June 28, 2018