Getting in on the act in Mansfield, fabulously

BMANSFIELD – This year’s Fabulous 1890s Weekend enjoyed fabulous weather all the way to the end – something co-organizer Dennis Miller said was “rare.”

“The weather is just gorgeous,’ Miller said following the parade Saturday.

“It makes all the difference in the world for attendance,” he added.

Under clear blue skies and a warm September sun, about 3,000 people attended the parade, and Miller said he anticipated about 8,000 would be at Smythe Park for the re-enactment of the first-ever football game played under electric lights in 1892 between Mansfield Normal School, now Mansfield University, and Wyoming Classical Seminary.

The weather was even good enough Friday to launch a hot air balloon, something that must be only done under prime conditions, with little to no wind.

Some highlights of the weekend include The Fabulous 1890s Parade, at 11 a.m. Saturday, a one-hour parade packed with 19th century costumes, horses, magnificent carriages, antique tractors, classic vehicles and marching bands.

New Mansfield University President Fran Hendricks and his wife Connie served as Grand Marshals of the parade, tossing candy to the eager children lining the parade route.

Hendricks, who assumed the presidency on May 28 of this year, is a 1979 Mansfield graduate who returned to his alma mater after a highly decorated career in the U.S. Air Force, retiring after more than 33 years at the rank of brigadier general.

Immediately after the parade, a reception was held by Mansfield Mayor Tom Wierbowski for the Hendricks’ in the 1890s Museum Tent on the Smythe Park grounds.