Hay Springs Friendly Festival Opens Its 94th Edition


     The 94th Hay Springs Friendly Festival begins today with the theme “The Monster Lives,” a reference to the legendary Walgren Lake Monster that made its first appearance 101 years ago.

     As with most festivals, a few new events have been added, a few have dropped out, and one returns after an absence. A full schedule can be seen online at

     Today’s schedule starts at 1:00 with the opening of the Heritage Museum and the opening of a fishing Tournament at Walgren Lake

    Also this afternoon from 2-4:00, Hay Springs Hip-Hop owner and publisher Cindy Peters is holding a 25-year Customer Appreciation Day at the Hay Springs Senior Center with refreshments, giveaways, and door prizes.

      Peters, who also designed the Chadron city flag, will share her celebration with a book signing with authors Christine Ambrose and Valorie Humphrey. Copies of their local history book will be available for purchase.

    This evening has the new Low Horsem Drag Races on Main Street beginning at 6:00. Categories of competition include foot pedal and power wheels for kids, Power chairs or scooters like a Rascal, golf carts – gas or electric, 2-wheelers of 250cc or less, and UTV or ATVS in classes of up to 1000 and over 1000. 

     Tomorrow’s schedule for the Hay Springs Friendly Festival starts with a free will donation Fly-In Breakfast at the airport from 7:00-9:30. 

     Also at 7:00 is registration at Security First Bank for the 5K Rusty’s Memorial Run/Walk. The race gets underway at 7:30  Registration is $15.  

      The annual parade with Grand Marshals Jim and Sandy Heesacker has free registration at 9:00 and departure at 10:00

      The rest of tomorrow includes vendors, free swimming, a flower show and plant sale, bouncy houses and kids activities, a car show, tractor pull, poet-singer-songwriter Deb Carpenter-Nolting, a hot air balloon exhibit, the free family hog roast, and fireworks.