Walking down the road past Emden Grade School was like walking into
Emden’s past and music from previous eras contributed to the
feeling. As one person said, it helped with the atmosphere.
On one end were close to 65 cars from different eras, which included
Studebakers, Camaro, Chevy’s T-Birds, Buicks and Transams. The
oldest vehicle was a 1929 Model A and the newest one was a 1999 Jeep
Wrangler. Other automobiles were from almost every decade between
the 1930s and 1990s.
The car-cruise in was being held in memory of Bill Hanna, who owned
several old cars and a nearby body shop.
Cruise-in organizer Cindy Wenninger said she was happy to see such a
One participant, Howard Rankin, proudly displayed the 1969 SS596 he
has owned for many years.
As people milled about and visited with the car owners and one
another, it undoubtedly brought back memories of bygone years.
Further down the street were several antique tractors. The various
makes and models included McCormick, Farmall, Allis Chalmers, Oliver
and John Deere.
Organizers said the oldest tractor was from the 1930s.
The theme for the afternoon parade was “Remembering the Past,
Looking Forward to the Future.”
Entries in the parade included the American Legion Color Guard, a
school band, Hartem sports teams, Hartem FFA and several county
The 2020 Logan County Fair Queen Faith Doerr and 2021 Little Miss
Emden Mia Westen rode atop convertibles through the parade route.
Some entries represented area businesses such as Greenhaven Animal
Clinic and Sun Ag. Others represented Marten Motors and Fink
Chevrolet, two former businesses on Emden’s main street.
Emden’s St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, which is over 130 years old,
carried youth from the congregation and advertised their upcoming
Vacation Bible School.
Additionally, several of the antique tractors and automobiles on
display earlier in the day participated along with fire departments
from around the county.
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Many floats were decorated to represent the theme of remembering the
past and looking forward to the future.
A few floats signified families or businesses whose connection to
Emden go back to the village’s beginning. Those riding on the floats
represented two or three generations, as did the Emden Historical
Other events of the day included friendly competitions. One was a
Wiffle ball tournament with a few teams competing and the other
Backyard Barbeque contest with three teams participating:
Dahm Good BBQ with Alex Dahm, Cale Dahm and Greg Conrady.
The Smoke Show with Corey Farmer and Gary Rademaker.
Sugar Creek BBQ with Dave, Dustin and Makenna Eyrse.
Though lots of “ribbing” goes on between these three teams, it is a
friendly rivalry. The three teams said they have competed against
one another in more than one barbeque competition and often end up
in the top three.
After the parade was a kiddie tractor pull with small, weighted
Evening activities included the Hartsburg Emden Senior class
spaghetti dinner, games, bouncy houses and face painting. Cousin
Eddy provided live musical entertainment. The evening wrapped up
with a firework show.
A book from the 125th Anniversary of Emden in 1996 shows similar
events, further tying the present to the past.
The list of events Saturday, July 20, 1996 included a quilt show,
antique farm machinery display, car show, kiddie tractor pull,
parade, games and musical entertainment.
A sign on one float in this year’s parade said, “Remember the
moments of the past, look forward to the promise of the future, but
most of all, celebrate the present, for it is priceless.” It seems
like an apt description of the events marking Emden’s 150th