Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the June 22 print edition of The Times-Sentinel. Subscribe to see more of these stories and see them sooner; call 316-540-0500.
By Tessa Castor
CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Fall Festival Board announced the 2017 festival’s logo winners in March. The logo, based off of this year’s “Happy Trails to You” theme, will be used on the festival’s buttons.
Four Clearwater students were selected as placers for this year’s contest, and two of their designs have been merged into the final design.
“Happy Trails to You” is in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail, which ran through Clearwater from 1867 to 1885. Clearwater served as a trading post for those crossing the Ninnescah River, and a ranch near the river served cattle drivers. The logo designs reflected the Chisholm Trail theme, featuring mentions of the Chisholm Trail and drawings of cattle.
The festival will feature Chisholm Trail-related events, including a reenactment of Clearwater’s Abbie Bright, a schoolteacher from the times of the Chisholm Trail, presentations by Kansas cowboy poets, Native American dance performances and more.
Three of the students selected as placers in the contest said they learned of the contest from their art teacher at the middle school, Tracy Collins. Collins has been the middle school art and high school yearbook teacher for four years in USD264, but she will not be returning for the 2017-2018 school year.
“The contest is a great way to shine a spotlight on the creative students in the Clearwater community,” said Collins. “I always try to get kids involved in the contest because it helps instill the importance of giving back to the community. The contest is a way students can give back in a fun way by sharing their creative talents.”
Daniel Just tied for first place with his design, featuring a cow, wagon wheel and boots. Just will begin fifth grade this fall, and is the youngest placer in the logo contest. He said he entered the contest because his school told him about the awards.
Just said his grandmother helped him with the design. The two combined paintings done by Just’s great-grandmother and grandmother, along with some of Just’s ideas.
“It took us about a week and three days to finish it,” said Just. “It was pretty hard.”
Just said he found out about winning from a phone call, letter and the $100 award. Just cashed his check, and he said he will save the money, possibly for college one day. He said he thinks it will be exciting to see pieces of his design featured on the Fall Festival buttons and posters.
“I feel pretty happy about winning,” said Just. “I’m glad I achieved it. I was really excited to tell my family. I kept fumbling over my words, I was so excited.”
Samuel Costello also placed first in the logo contest. Costello will be a freshman this fall at Clearwater High School, where he will continue his art. He said his design was entirely original, and took him three weeks creating it.
“It was kind of my own thing,” said Costello. “I came up with it and decided it was what I wanted to do. It’s not that hard if you follow the steps right.”
The steps Costello took in putting his design to paper included an original sketch in pencil, followed by a trace in pen and a fill-in with colored pencil. The design featured two half circles that said “Fall Festival” between them, and doodles coming out of the sides.
This was Costello’s first year to compete in the logo contest. He said he is saving the $100 he won from the contest for something, but he is not sure what that will be.
“I felt pretty happy about winning,” said Costello. “I kind of jumped around for a little bit.”
Costello said that he has seen the final design for the Fall Festival logo, and he likes what the result was.
“I thought it was very interesting what they did to it,” said Costello. “It was cool that they used my idea.”
Katie Bergkamp, third place winner of the logo contest, said it took her two or three days to finish her design. She described the parts of her design as reflections of the Chisholm Trail theme.
“Buffaloes were back in the day,” said Bergkamp. “They would sometimes tame them and take them on the trail. I added flames because I think flames look cool.”
Bergkamp was awarded $25 for placing, which she said she put in her bank account. She said this was her first year competing in the contest, but that she would continue. She said she is looking forward to this year’s Fall Festival for the rides and the chance to spend time with friends.
“I was pretty happy when I found out I placed,” said Bergkamp. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
Tess Winter was awarded $50 for placing second in the contest, and she said she put her money in the bank as well. She said coming up with her design was the hardest part of the contest.
“I started over several times,” said Winter. “It took me about a week.”
Winter’s design included a prairie, a fence with cows and a sunset. She said she will continue competing in the logo design contest.
“I was surprised when I found out,” said Winter. “I’ve entered it before and didn’t get anything back.”
Clearwater’s 2017 Fall Festival will run from Sept. 14 to 16.