A day of family fun

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'The Wipeout' planned for Aug. 20 at Centre Square

By Stephen Lega

Les Rakes has visited Branson, Mo., and a few other places. Based on what he's seen, he thinks he can provide even better entertainment.

And he intends to do it, right here in Lebanon.

Rakes, 70, is planning an event he's calling The Wipeout for Saturday, Aug. 20, at Centre Square.

"More or less, it's just a family event," Rakes said.

No alcohol or tobacco will be allowed, but everyone is encouraged to have fun.

The Wipeout includes nearly 13 hours of activities divided into two sessions. The first session will feature a number of games and activities. The second session will include music and dancing, and someone may even win $100 if he or she can out dance Rakes.

"I've had a few people say they can take me in dancing, and I seriously doubt it," Rakes said. "That's going to be quite interesting, but if a person can be declared the winner, they deserve the $100. But they should come prepared."

Chris Hamilton, the executive director of the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission, said both the variety and the type of activities that Rakes has planned should appeal to multiple generations of people.

"I see this event as something parents can take their kids to and get a real live, hands-on experience of doing things the parents might have done when they were kids," he said.

He added that the event may provide a sense of nostalgia for parents and grandparents through clean, wholesome activities.

"You can be as active as you want to be, or you can simply show up and watch other people being active," Hamilton said.

The first session is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5:15 p.m. Admission is $15.

The early session kicks off with a treasure hunt and contests, such as picking a lucky duck, bobbing for a lucky apple and tossing for a lucky ring. Weather permitting, bouncy rides for kids and a water slide will be available.

The next round of competitions are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with baby, pet, harmonica and pie contests. It may be worth noting that a pie-eating contest will follow shortly thereafter.

A lunch will be served at noon. After lunch, bingo will be played from 1-3 p.m. And a sock hop with other "'50s stuff" will take place from 1-4 p.m.

Rakes said no one will need to purchase bingo cards. They are included in the admission price.

The first session will conclude with a karaoke contest from 3-5:15 p.m.

The second session begins at 6 p.m., and admission for that portion of the event is $22.

Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed by a country-western music show starting at 7:30 p.m.

Rakes said he has around a dozen performers lined up for the music show, and he intends to keep the show moving quickly. Some of the performers scheduled to appear include the Apple Creek Band from Nashville and Terry Wooley, a central Kentucky native.

Hamilton said Rakes has outstanding entertainment lined up for that evening.

"We always love it when we have great live entertainment," Hamilton said.

While everyone will be welcome to dance for their own enjoyment, a dance contest will be judged during the music show as well. Prizes will be awarded to three winners of the dance contest.

And at 10:30 p.m., people will have their opportunity to out dance Rakes himself.

The Wipeout will end around 11 p.m.

Rakes said he originally had even more activities planned, but after talking with the tourist commission and some others, he focused on a smaller number of things.

"It's a combination of what I've learned and what I hope people will like," Rakes said.

To promote the event, Rakes said he has distributed 2,000 posters in Marion, Nelson, Taylor and Washington counties. He added that he's received a good response from people while he was taking his posters around the area.

Rakes doesn't expect this to be a one-time event. He is planning to host monthly events at Centre Square starting in October.

"At one time Lebanon was a hopping, jumping place," Rakes said, "and I think it still could be."

The Wipeout

The Wipeout will be held Aug. 20 at Centre Square. The day of activities will be broken up into two sessions with separate admission prices. The early session is $15 and includes a lunch. The evening session is $22 and includes a dinner.

Event organizer Les Rakes strongly encouraged people to order tickets in advance so that he would know how much food to order for the meals.

Tickets are available online through the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission at http://www.visitlebanonky.com/thewipeout.html or at the commission's office in the Centre Square Convention Center, 239 N. Spalding Avenue in Lebanon.

For more information, call Rakes at (859) 576-4040 or send an email to visitlebanonky@windstream.net.