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Posted on: April 19, 2019

All Schools Day Tells A Story



“Once upon a day in May
I saw some children in their play
I listened as they sang their songs
I saw them as they marched along…”

- Les Groves

Those living in McPherson County are accustomed to an annual event on the second Friday of May. All Schools Day has been a part of our community for more than 100 years years. The 2019 theme “Sharing Our Story” encouraged us to reflect upon the positive impact education, activities and collaboration have had on our lives. Our community’s celebration is unique. Did you know the following facts about All Schools Day?

  • The first celebration in 1914 honored eighth grade graduates from dozens of country schools scattered throughout McPherson County.
  • Amusement rides including a ferris wheel were first introduced in 1922.
  • 1931 marked one of the coldest ASD celebrations on record with temperatures in the mid 30s.
  • At 8’9” Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, stood out at the ASD parade in 1940.
  • By the end of the 1950s, ASD attendance reflected 40,000 people.
  • In 1960, the McPherson High School band received new uniforms and became the “McPherson Marching 100.”
  • The madathon made its first appearance in 1977 as a spin off from the 1970s television series “Almost Anything Goes.”
  • The first ASD button was designed in 1987 by Kathy Tull highlighting the theme “Carousel of Stars.”
  • In May 1995, the McPherson area received almost 12 inches of rain, most of which fell during the week of the parade.
  • The first Omega Awards were presented during ASD 2005 honoring select eighth-grade students for leadership, service, courage and compassion in their community.
  • Fabric streamers for the winding of the May Pole are 4 inches by 9 years in length.
  • The carnival provided by Toby’s Amusements is the top fundraiser for All Schools Day

All Schools Day is supported by hundreds of volunteers. Countless hours are spent planning and executing May Fete, parade activities, the carnival, the madathon, a street dance and more. Businesses throughout McPherson County provide support. And behind the scenes, city employees ensure safety and maintenance plans are in place. It takes a caring community to support All Schools Day. We each have a role. We each have a story to tell. What's yours?

Learn more about All Schools Day
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