• Grand Marshal: Judy Renken
    Grand Marshal: Judy Renken

Grand Marshal

With Festival since ’73, Renken leads parade

By Andy Bell-Baltaci - Review Atlas

 

MONMOUTH — Judy Renken is a lifelong Monmouth resident who has worked with the Prime Beef Festival Committee since 1973, and will be the marshal for the festival’s parade this year.

 

In 1985, Renken became the first female president of the Committee, and implemented the idea of having a day for children with special needs, something that was brought into effect the following year and continues to this day on the Friday of festival week.

 

“The festival is mainly for kids to show their livestock and things like that,” Renken said. “It’s a place for people to come and meet friends and family and have a fun week. I’ve always enjoyed working it.”

 

According to Renken, some of the top events include the chicken scramble, calf tagging, and the tractor pull. During the chicken scramble, she says farmers donate chickens which are let loose. Children, grouped by age, try to pull the chickens into a ring, and if they do they get a dollar. During calf tagging, children try to take tags which are attached to calves, and in the tractor pull, tractors pull a metal sled with a heavy box on it.

 

Renken said the parade itself includes bands from several schools and an average of over 100 entries.

 

“People can make floats, and anyone can enter the parade,” Renken said. “All you have to do is call the Chamber [of Commerce] office and connect. We’re always looking for help.”

 

Renken called being named the parade marshal “an honor” and said, “I will stay with [the festival] as long as I’m able.”

 

The parade will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, kicking off four days of festivities. For more information on the Warren County Prime Beef Festival, visit primebeeffestival.com.


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