Celebrating the heritage of the town and the upcoming future for Orchard in this year’s parade was key to the weekend celebration. So nothing was more fitting than having two of the oldest community members, Helen Wantz and LaNora Holliday, join with the two newest additions, Maverick Schacht and Lillian Hahn, serving as grand marshals.
This year, 95-year-old Helen Wantz joined in on the parade riding as one of the grand marshals. Wantz often helps with the Methodist Church in Orchard and spends most of her time doing housework.
Wantz grew up in the Pleasant Valley community about 7 miles out of Orchard. She attended the Pleasant Valley Country School on horseback which was 3½ miles from her childhood home. Wantz also said that a lot has changed from the time she has grown up.
“If it’s changed this much in my 95 years, I can’t imagine what it will be like in another 95 years,” said Wantz.
Whether it was hauling water from the mill when she was a child or baking pies, Wantz always took time for the Orchard community.
“I haven’t done anything giant,” said Wantz. “I thank them for giving me the opportunity.”
Also attending the parade beside Wantz was LaNora Holiday. LaNora also attended country school as a girl in District 39 and later graduated from Page High School in 1931.
LaNora recalled the Great Depression and how hard it was to find a job. Wages were only 50 cents per day with room and board.
On December 14, 1935, LaNora married Thomas Holliday and farmed until moving to Orchard in 1975. At 104 years, LaNora is still going strong and remains pertinent in the community.
Riding behind the grand marshals as the baby marshals in the parade on Sunday, July 30 were Maverick Schacht, parents Drew and Kellie, and Lillian Hahn, parents Colton and Nikki, who are the two newest additions to the Orchard community.
Maverick Mert Schacht was born on June 29, 2017. Maverick is the first to be born in the Schacht family to Drew and Kellie who describe it as exciting and scary, but has brought a lot of joy and love to the family.
“We have been shown so much support and love from everyone around town since we found out we were expecting up until he was born and now that he’s here,” said Kellie Schacht. “Orchard will be a great place to raise our family.”
Schacht also explained how times have changed. From Kellie’s childhood to Maverick’s, technology has changed drastically to even the way we communicate.
“I hope Maverick can look back on these pictures and see how special it was that we were asked to have him in the parade,” said Kellie.
At only a week old, Lillian Irene Hahn also joined in on the grand marshal honor. Lillian was born on July 23 to Colton and Nikki Hahn. Lillian was also the first addition to Hahn family who describes this as Lily’s first contribution to Orchard.
“There are so many new young ones in the area that it makes us excited for the future. Lily will have lots of friends and be surrounded by people who care about her,” said Nikki Hahn.
While Nikki described the experience of having a first child as scary and exhausting, she also said it was exciting and full of love. And even though it might be a critical world that we are growing up into, their jobs as parents include confronting her as the years go by.
Hahn also explained what an honor it was to be in the parade noticing the idea of the grand marshals as a great idea.
“It just shows that Orchard is continuing to grow, but values the past and honors those who helped mold the community into what it is today,” she said.
While Orchard’s community has remained steady, it is continuing to grow with newer generations. From the oldest to the youngest, the Orchard community is becoming a new generation that will forever shape it.
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Neligh, NE 68756