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Railroad Days is the little festival that could

August 25, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

JUNCTION CITY - "I think I can ... I think I can ... I think I can," says the little blue train in the popular children's book, The Little Engine That Could. The folks behind this year's Railroad Days may have been saying the same thing prior to this year's festival. "Junction City is not dead," said "Red Dog" Davis after the parade Saturday that drew hundreds of people along Shelby Street.

The festival, highlighted by the parade, high school reunion, yard sales and other events, almost did not happen this year because of lack of money. "They scared some funds up," said parade-watcher Gene Grider. "This is the best day of the year."

His wife, Margaret, said the festival brings out the "friendship and the fellowship" of the town. "It's a nice thing for the city," she said. "It brings a lot of people in."

A lot of those people were eagerly anticipating Saturday night's Junction City High School reunion. Among those is Ernie Gipson, who was looking forward to seeing the 1947 graduating class, which included 14 people, seven boys and seven girls. "Of those, six girls and three boys are still living," he said.

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"It's a school reunion, not a class reunion," said Joy Mayfield of the Somerset area. "You see the people you graduated with, but also the people in the town you knew."

Jamie Thomas, standing in front of the First Christian Church fundraising tent, said Railroad Days is a part of August. "It's for everyone," she said. "It's definitely the biggest thing for Junction City."

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