HHS alumni banquet planned
Every Memorial Day weekend, Holton High School alumni converge on Holton to celebrate their “Glory Days” in the annual festival that heralds the unofficial beginning of summer in the area.
This year, on Saturday, May 28, they’ll also be gathering for the annual HHS alumni banquet, which is returning after a two-year absence due to COVID-19 concerns, according to Beth Haug McManigal (HHS Class of 1971) and Paula Birkbeck Taylor (HHS Class of 1986), who are involved in putting this year’s banquet together.
“We’re just doing what we can to make this happen,” McManigal said, noting that tickets for the banquet, at $25 each, went on sale today (Wednesday) at the main Denison State Bank, GNBank and The Farmers State Bank locations in Holton and will remain on sale through Monday, May 23.
Last year, the banquet was canceled over uncertainty with COVID-19 restrictions, but Glory Days activities on Holton’s Town Square went on as scheduled. The year before that, in 2020, there were no alumni or Glory Days activities at all, due to COVID-19.
The absence of an alumni banquet due to the pandemic has created a sort of “COVID fallout,” Taylor said, noting that she, McManigal and Ben Pruett still had an interest in bringing back the banquet and getting some “new blood” involved in keeping the banquet going in the future.
“One of the topics that needs to be discussed at some point is the future of the banquet,” McManigal said. “Is there enough interest in it?”
Taylor agreed, adding that she was encouraged by the number of more recent HHS grads who had stepped up to keep the banquet going prior to the pandemic.
“At the last banquet in 2019, I was so impressed with all the effort the younger alumni were putting into the event,” she said. “If it’s something that’s important to them, more of them are going to need to step up.”
For this year, the banquet and related activities, including the announcement of the Outstanding Alumnus and the Alumni Scholarship for a recent Holton High School graduate, will be back. A guest speaker for the program, Taylor said, is “still in the works” at this time.
The banquet will begin with a social time at 5 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 6 p.m. The dinner, Taylor said, will be catered by Engroff Catering of Topeka and feature honey pecan chicken as the entree.
Nominations for the Outstanding Alumnus award are being accepted through Friday, May 6, it was reported. Nominations may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Holton Alumni Association, P.O. Box 175, Holton, KS 66436.
Saturday, May 28 will also feature the “Glory Days” festivities on the Square, including the classic car show, area arts and crafts vendors and the alumni parade. Concerning the latter, McManigal said that alumni from all Jackson County schools — not just HHS — are again invited to participate in the parade.
Class floats for the parade will start lining up at 10 a.m. that day in the east parking lot at HHS, then will take off down New York Avenue toward the Square at 11 a.m. There is no registration required for parade participation, McManigal said.
That day’s activities on the Square will begin at 8 a.m., at which time there will be a flag-raising ceremony and a performance of the national anthem. Car show registration will also begin at that time, continuing through 2 p.m., when car show winners will be announced.
Vendors are required to have their booths ready to go by 9 a.m., according to Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce director Ashlee York, who noted that even though there is more than a month to go before the event, about 30 vendors have so far signed up to participate.
“Typically, we’ll get a lot of vendors signing up pretty close to the event,” York said. “We’re right on track with the number we usually have at this time.”
At 10 a.m., there will be a celebration of area military veterans who are being honored through the “Jackson County Remembers” patriotic banner project. A total of 96 banners have begun to be placed along Holton’s main thoroughfares and will remain in place through Independence Day, it was reported.
For more information on vendor and car registration for this year’s event, call the Chamber office at 364-3693; vendors and car show participants may also register online at the Chamber’s Web site, www.exploreholton.com
The Holton Recorder is also seeking Class of 1972 composite photos from Holton, Jackson Heights, Royal Valley, Wetmore and Atchison County for the upcoming Glory Days section, to be included with the Wednesday, May 25 edition. To submit Class of 1972 composite school photos, call The Recorder office at 364-3141.