CRAIGMONT — He couldn’t fit into his father’s dress, so Tom Myklebust had to buy one of his own.
It was a cream-colored, lacy looking thing that didn’t really show off his figure very well.
But that’s the breaks when you’re the flower girl at a wedding: You don’t want to show up the bride — especially when he’s bigger than you.
Myklebust played his part to perfection, though, standing meekly beside “Miss Ilo” — played by local historian Dick Southern — during the 100th reenactment of the Ilo-Vollmer wedding at Saturday’s Craigmont June Picnic.
This was the fourth re-staging of the event since the two towns ended their long-running feud and united in 1920 to form Craigmont.
“My dad was actually the flower girl during the 50th and 75th anniversary reenactments,” Myklebust said. “It’s kind of a family tradition. We try not to talk about it.”
His own son, Lewiston Fire Chief Travis Myklebust, could be tapped to continue the tradition during the 125th anniversary.
“They don’t ask you to volunteer,” Myklebust said. “They just tell you you’re doing it.”
He drew the line at buying his own dress, though. He had his wife pick it out for him.
A guy has to have some standards.
More than 200 people attended the wedding reenactment, which took place at the city park under a cloudy sky. Jonelle Thomason thought that might have been a few more than in recent years, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Like many in attendance, Thomason was there with her family, including three young kids.
“It’s super fun,” she said of the June Picnic.
Her husband was in the Main Street parade, taking a seat on the Class of 2000 reunion float, and her kids participated in the ever-popular ping pong ball drop for the first time.
Craigmont Mayor Roger Riggers, who also took part in the parade, thought attendance might be down a bit this year.
“I know there were some blocks that are usually full, and they were empty,” he said. “But we might have had more family groups this year.”
Riggers, who has been mayor or a Craigmont City Council member for 39 years, pulled double-duty this year by officiating at the wedding reenactment. The script he followed tried to recreate the original event as closely as possible.
“It’s just new faces playing the same roles,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re any better looking, though.”
Southern, who grew up in Gifford before moving to Craigmont with his wife in 1957, might have resembled that remark, had it not been for the light pink lipstick he was wearing.
“My daughter-in-law helped me with that,” he said. “I had to get glamoured up.”
He didn’t stop at the lipstick, either. Southern also wore a pair of white gloves and a stylish red hat, as well as a long, blond wig and white wedding dress.
“The dress belonged to a friend of a friend’s mother,” he said. “I didn’t know the lady, but she was a large woman. It fit me perfectly.”
For the families and friends who continue to come to Craigmont’s June Picnic year after year, that pretty much summed up their feelings about the whole event.
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