"Beets" drama at Loveland Rialto Theater, May 22-24 and May 29-31 | TheFencePost.com
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"Beets" drama at Loveland Rialto Theater, May 22-24 and May 29-31

Ella Marie Hayes
Saratoga, Wyo.
Noel V. Hayes, Jr.The entrance sign to the sugar industry exhibit highlights the Great Western Sugar Company, Loveland, Colo., between the years of 1901-1985 when the industry flourished in the area.

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Berthoud playwright Rick Padden’s original drama “Beets” to be presented at the Rialto Theater in Loveland, Colo., the last two weekends of May is sure to bring back memories for those who lived in Northern Colorado during World War II or under similar situations in other times or places.

The Loveland Community Theatre play focuses on the time when so many able-bodied men were off fighting on foreign battle fields and there was a drastic shortage of workers for farm owners. At that time young, strong German soldiers held in the Prisoner of War camps in the United States who volunteered were allowed to work outside the POW camps. Many farmers in Northeastern Colorado used the German POW labor during that time, and other POW camps throughout the United States ” including one near Saratoga, Wyo., ” also provided needed laborers for various other occupations.

The play, “Beets” setting is located around Berthoud and Loveland, but could relate to any location where POWs were doing work such as being stoop laborers in the sugar beet fields. The work had to be done and some farm families welcomed them, while having POWs in their fields did not sit well with others. The situation often resulted in controversy and hard feelings among families and neighbors.

The drama, “Beets,” should provide a thoughtful trip back in history for all generations and help them to reflect on the complex feelings created by the situation at that time.

The production will run on Friday and Saturday, May 22-23, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 24, at 2 p.m., and again the following weekend on Friday and Saturday evenings, May 29 and 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 31, at 2 p.m.

Tickets prices are: Adults, $14 and Seniors/students, $13. Group tickets are available. Proceeds from the production benefit the American Legion, Post 15. For more information please call Loveland’s Rialto Theatre at (970) 962-2120. The Box Office is open 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

The Loveland Museum & Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln, provides another great opportunity to step back in time and remember the hey-day of the sugar industry in Northeastern Colorado and the Great Western Sugar Factory in Loveland which flourished between the years 1901-1985. A permanent exhibit, not only features the Loveland Great Western factory, but presents an overview of the farms that grew sugar beets.

Of special interest, especially to those of us who grew up in the area, is the 1914 map that shows the farms of our families and friends, as well as old beet dump locations, and marks the GW railroads that traveled out to the beet dumps and transported the beets back to the GW factories of the area. As a child, one of the highlights of the beet harvest time for me was watching the train chug by on the tracks just north of our home northeast of Milliken, Colo., to the Elm Beet Dump.

Dioramas, interpretive posters, artifacts and videos also provide considerable detailed information about the sugar beet crop that contributed to the settlement of the towns and farms of the area. It was hard work, but the crop offered great opportunity to work, and the story repeated itself over and over ” of the beet worker who became a tenant farmer who became a land owner.

Foresighted founders of GW knew sugar beets could pay for development of irrigation systems, clean up weed-choked fields, pay off mortgages, create markets for other farm products that could be shipped to distant purchasers, and without the sugar factories the beet was meaningless. Risk, imagination, and heavy investment brought by the factories, and their contribution to our West over the past century has been incalculable.

The Loveland Museum/Gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., while Thursday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. provides evening hours. Saturday hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday hours are noon-4 p.m. Closed Mondays. For more information, please call (970) 962-2410.

The Rialto Theatre and Loveland Museum/Gallery are both part of the Cultural Services of the City of Loveland, please visit http://www.cityfloveland.org and click on the link for the Rialto Theatre or Arts & Leisure.

Berthoud playwright Rick Padden’s original drama “Beets” to be presented at the Rialto Theater in Loveland, Colo., the last two weekends of May is sure to bring back memories for those who lived in Northern Colorado during World War II or under similar situations in other times or places.

The Loveland Community Theatre play focuses on the time when so many able-bodied men were off fighting on foreign battle fields and there was a drastic shortage of workers for farm owners. At that time young, strong German soldiers held in the Prisoner of War camps in the United States who volunteered were allowed to work outside the POW camps. Many farmers in Northeastern Colorado used the German POW labor during that time, and other POW camps throughout the United States ” including one near Saratoga, Wyo., ” also provided needed laborers for various other occupations.

The play, “Beets” setting is located around Berthoud and Loveland, but could relate to any location where POWs were doing work such as being stoop laborers in the sugar beet fields. The work had to be done and some farm families welcomed them, while having POWs in their fields did not sit well with others. The situation often resulted in controversy and hard feelings among families and neighbors.

The drama, “Beets,” should provide a thoughtful trip back in history for all generations and help them to reflect on the complex feelings created by the situation at that time.

The production will run on Friday and Saturday, May 22-23, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 24, at 2 p.m., and again the following weekend on Friday and Saturday evenings, May 29 and 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 31, at 2 p.m.

Tickets prices are: Adults, $14 and Seniors/students, $13. Group tickets are available. Proceeds from the production benefit the American Legion, Post 15. For more information please call Loveland’s Rialto Theatre at (970) 962-2120. The Box Office is open 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

The Loveland Museum & Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln, provides another great opportunity to step back in time and remember the hey-day of the sugar industry in Northeastern Colorado and the Great Western Sugar Factory in Loveland which flourished between the years 1901-1985. A permanent exhibit, not only features the Loveland Great Western factory, but presents an overview of the farms that grew sugar beets.

Of special interest, especially to those of us who grew up in the area, is the 1914 map that shows the farms of our families and friends, as well as old beet dump locations, and marks the GW railroads that traveled out to the beet dumps and transported the beets back to the GW factories of the area. As a child, one of the highlights of the beet harvest time for me was watching the train chug by on the tracks just north of our home northeast of Milliken, Colo., to the Elm Beet Dump.

Dioramas, interpretive posters, artifacts and videos also provide considerable detailed information about the sugar beet crop that contributed to the settlement of the towns and farms of the area. It was hard work, but the crop offered great opportunity to work, and the story repeated itself over and over ” of the beet worker who became a tenant farmer who became a land owner.

Foresighted founders of GW knew sugar beets could pay for development of irrigation systems, clean up weed-choked fields, pay off mortgages, create markets for other farm products that could be shipped to distant purchasers, and without the sugar factories the beet was meaningless. Risk, imagination, and heavy investment brought by the factories, and their contribution to our West over the past century has been incalculable.

The Loveland Museum/Gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., while Thursday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. provides evening hours. Saturday hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday hours are noon-4 p.m. Closed Mondays. For more information, please call (970) 962-2410.

The Rialto Theatre and Loveland Museum/Gallery are both part of the Cultural Services of the City of Loveland, please visit http://www.cityfloveland.org and click on the link for the Rialto Theatre or Arts & Leisure.


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