Summer in McPherson

Maggie Leaf, Editorial Writer

At last, the most wonderful time of year has arrived… well, at least in the yearning eyes of restless teenagers eagerly anticipating the season of summer, it has. The stress of school has become nonexistent, the seemingly never ending demand of homework has ceased, and an undeniable sense of freedom is awakened. What more could someone possibly ask for? But, as is the case for any typical student just released from the constraints of education, that freedom can easily be confused with boredom amid the endless amount of possibilities that surround this season. Some of that free time is often taken up by summer jobs. Here in McPherson, the beginning of summer is suggested with the assembly of the carnival, the area-wide parade down Main Street, and the extensive scope of novelty food trucks. All of which result in the timeless tradition of All School’s Day. The annual celebration reaches the community of McPherson and its surrounding towns to promote a sense of unity and value. Another sign of summer in this county is the widely loved, and inherently popular, Hopp’s Sno Shack. Considered an everyday staple by many, Hopp’s serves as a place for the community to share its affinity for sno cones, while maintaining a charming environment that keeps people coming back. However, these things are merely signs of summer. In actuality, summer hasn’t truly begun until the McPherson Water Park opens its gates to the masses of kids who will indefinitely spend the majority of their time at the pool until they resemble the colors of a cappuccino. Not only does the MWP cater to the incessant need of children to be outside, but it also draws in adults who need that refreshing dose of nostalgia. Summer in a small town can have its drawbacks, but the charms and adventures brought to its inhabitants are unlike any other.

To fill the void of activity that the end of school leaves, it is not uncommon for many high school students to have some sort of summer job. With the multitude of employment options, working provides a stable, familiar environment that promotes societal involvement for those who are left with nothing to do in these summer months. Junior, Alaina Diggs, works at the Lazy D Dog Kennel in Lindsborg, Kansas. Her quest for a summer job was prompted by her lack of productivity last year. “I really enjoy it because when I am not doing the basic kennel duties I can play with the dogs,” said Diggs. When asked why she chose this particular job she responded, “I knew it would be something I was interested in, and it was a good starting job.” Diggs is one of the numerous students who spend their time working to earn money, which in itself is a good motivational factor for any high schooler. Katie Bahr, also a junior, works as an assistant at a local accounting firm, where her tasks consist of scanning papers, filing documents, answering the phones, and doing other basic office work. In her opinion, “Having a summer job allows high schoolers to learn how to be responsible. It also allows students to start learning how to manage their own money. Overall, I would say it majorly benefits them.”

All School’s Day serves as an undeniable source of euphoria for many residents of McPherson, as it has been around since 1914. Originally created to celebrate the graduation of local eighth graders, it has evolved into a much more expansive festival. Generations of lifelong McPhersonites, as well as the newer kids in town, all share the delight that comes with the parade of cars, floats, motorcycles, and horses, just to name a few. There’s something special about being part of such a distinguished tradition among this region, and the ineffable feeling that is elicited from the festivities. To accompany All School’s Day, Hopp’s Sno Shack provides a hometown novelty that is widely loved by people of all ages during the summer months. Cole Hansen, a recently graduated senior, says, “Hopp’s Sno Shack and Craft Coffee Parlor are two places you will regularly find me,” when looking ahead to his plans for summer in McPherson. And to complete the aforementioned revelries of our community, the McPherson Water Park has and will always incorporate the summer tradition of childhood reminiscence, while the children of today make their new memories swimming in the pool, relaxing through the lazy river, careening down the slide and crashing into the water below. Each moment of enjoyment reflects what kind of fun can be had through a summer in a small town. Though McPherson’s resources aren’t exactly comparable to those in a bigger area, like Wichita, the small town appeal is much more fulfilling and can have a much longer lasting impact. The opportunities to be more independent and have more freedom far surpass the restrictions of a city, and if you ask me, that’s what summer is all about.