As spring creeps closer, the City of Laurie is planning new activities and events at the town's 27 acre park and fairgrounds that will be ready for action come warmer weather.
And best of all - the new activities are coming at little to no cost for the city.
The board of aldermen approved a disc golf course at its Feb. 13 meeting as well as a tractor pull and a Toys for Kids event.
Area resident and disc golf enthusiast Dan Adams first brought the idea of a course to the board a few months ago.
Disc golf is a game widely growing in popularity around the country and the world.
In the game, a flying disc - like a Frisbee - is thrown at baskets set up on a pole. These targets are laid out in a course similar to golf with par counts for each basket, and disc golfers beginning each hole from a tee pad.
Laurie joins the cities of Versailles, Camdenton and Eldon in opening a course for the popular activity.
The course at the Laurie park will avoid areas in use for other activities. The difficulty rating of the course will be around a medium level, according to parks & events coordinator Susann Huff, somewhere between Camdenton's expert course and the easier Versailles course. The difficulty level is based on terrain and natural obstacles, such as trees.
Different types of discs are used depending on conditions and proximity to the basket. Like in golf, there are putters and drivers as well as mid-range discs. The discs fly differently due to varying and placement of weights and different edges.
Since raising the idea of a disc golf course in Laurie, Adams has raised donations and pledges of $900 and $400 donated in materials from Porters to help get the course going. And the City of Lebanon is donating nine homemade disc golf baskets that had been used on a trial course. Lebanon has developed multiple courses and no longer needed the trial course equipment, according to Adams.
With this support, Adams and the city are moving forward with the course and will have it up in time for spring play.
The Sleeper Tractor Pullers Association will also be holding an event at the fairgrounds this spring. Aldermen approved the association's proposed tractor pull which is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 18. The city events department will pay a $250 sponsorship to host the 3-4 hour tractor pull, and the association will manage the event and bring the necessary equipment. The event department will keep the gate fee and concessions monies, while the association will keep the contestant entry fees.
Toys for Kids will also be holding an event at the fairgrounds this summer. This motorcycle group gives away presents at Christmas to children of families who are struggling to make ends meet. The organization also helps these families throughout the year as needed.
Page 2 of 2 - The July 4-6 event is open to all, but the entertainment and vendors at the event will be geared mainly toward motorcycle enthusiasts.
The Laurie Swap Meet is also a new addition to the calendar of events at the park. It is scheduled for June 15-16.
The next upcoming event at Laurie's Hillbilly Fairgrounds will be the annual Easter Egg Hunt. More than 14,000 eggs stuffed with candy and prizes will be laid out on the grounds of the park on Easter Sunday.
The Easter bunny will be available for photos at 1:30. One to three year old will be the first age group up for the hunt starting at 2 p.m. The last age group, 10-12 year olds, will begin at 2:15. There is always a prize for every child.
The fairgrounds' events calendar in 2013 also includes the Spring 27 Acre Yard Sale on May 4, the Hillbilly BBQ Cook Off Aug. 2-3, the Fall 27 Acre Yard Sale on Aug. 24, the Laurie Hillbilly Fair Sept. 13-14 and the Enchanted Village of Lights Nov. 16-Jan. 1, 2014. Public events sponsored by other entities at the fairgrounds include the Westlake Street Machine Fall Follies Car Show Sept. 7-8 and the Haunted Hayride Oct. 25-26. The city will also hold a gun and knife show at Osage River Grill Civic Center on June 1.
Last year, the city added a pickleball court on the concrete slab in front of the main stage in the fairgrounds. Pickleball is similar to tennis but with a wiffle ball and ping pong-like paddles.
Laurie also has a soccer field with a youth league and a baseball field with adult and youth leagues.
For more information on activities and events in the City of Laurie, go to www.cityoflaurie.com or call 573-374-8776.
The city will start planning meetings Feb. 21 for the barbecue cook off and the fair. Anyone interested in helping with the events or making improvements to them are invited to attend the meetings which are held at the log cabin office in the fairgrounds. The barbecue meeting starts at 5:15 p.m., and the fair meeting will immediately follow around 6 p.m.