RICHMOND—Richmond city is adapting to changing times for its 95th annual Black and White Days. At a meeting Wednesday night of the activities committee, previous successes, failures and new ideas were discussed. The city hopes to bring back the same scale of participation that the celebration had in its early days.
Black and White Days began in 1912 with Richmond’s first Holstein cattle show. It continues to be the longest running Holstein show west of the Mississippi River. It is the city’s largest celebration and arguably what it’s most famous for.
One change discussed was the fact that the traditional melodrama was dropped a few years ago. Resident participation and audience size had decreased greatly and the city was sinking more than $1,500 into its production. Councilman Jeff Young, the head of the committee, put things simply: “I will not continue something that doesn’t work.”
A new activity started last year was a free outdoor movie sponsored by the Richmond City Youth Council, which had a turnout of more than 500 people. The activities committee is excited about doing it again.
The budget for the entire celebration this year is $3,000. It was greatly overspent last year, but the city is pleased with the amount of participation and how well activities went. They hope to have as successful of a celebration as last year without spending too much.
Black and White Days will include a parade, food vendors, various family activities and the famous horse pull, drawing horse owners from as far away as Canada. More ideas are pending and have been divided among the committee members.
In the meantime, the Dairy Princess Pageant will be held on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. to select the royalty featured in the parade and representing Richmond in surrounding communities’ parades over the summer.
This year’s Black and White Days will run from May 11 to 15.