FORT DODGE, Iowa — This weekend the 42nd Annual Frontier Days Celebration and parade will take place, amid some sadness among those who plan the event.
On March 16, a car accident in Missouri claimed the lives of Ken Friday and Chon Rushton.
“They were in a serious car accident on the way down to a trade show in St. Louis.” said Kurt Lowe, who is on the Frontier Days Committee. “They were hit head-on by a guy who crossed the center line.”
Ken Friday’s son, Kerk, survived the accident but was badly injured. Kerk Friday is still recovering from the accident and will not attend this year’s celebration.
The Frontier Days Parade on Saturday will honor Ken Friday, and Chon Rushton, the two committee members who were killed in the accident.
That means other members of the team have to step up to fill the shoes of those lost in the tragedy.
“That is a big turn for me,” said Jason Reyes, who became Chair of Frontier Days to fill Kerk Friday’s shoes. “I had an idea how much was involved, I didn’t realize how much more to it than what Kerk Friday had to do outside of what we’d seen all the time, so it’s a big responsibility.”
“They were the salt of the earth, would give you the shirt off their back,” said Lowe. “They were always there with a hand and a smile.”
If you’d like to check out the Frontier Days Schedule this year, click here.