For the past several years, Beau Bailey of Winfield has become “Popsicle Pete” during fair time.
Six or seven years ago, Bailey, a 4-H parent and wastewater collection supervisor for the City of Winfield, set up a freezer at the campgrounds of the Winfield Fairgrounds and stocked it with popsicles, free for the taking by 4-H members. Some of the kids began calling Bailey “Popsicle Pete,” and the word spread about the free treats.
The number of popsicles given away has grown every year. Last year, over 2,000 were handed out, Bailey said. The most popular colors are purple, red and blue.
Green and yellow are the least favorite. “They’re the last to go,” Bailey said.
The kids often go together in groups to get their popsicles, or go with parents. “It’s just a fun time,” said Bailey.
For Bailey, it’s not about just giving out treats, but giving the kids an opportunity to create memories of being with their friends. He has similar memories from his own childhood, of walking with his cousins to the Flower Grocery Story at Fourth and Harter to buy small bottles of Coca-Cola.
In appreciation for his work with Cowley County 4-H, the families had a bench made for Bailey’s home when the 4-H Food Stand was remodeled in 2013.
It is inscribed with “Popsicle Pete” and includes the 4-H green clover logo. Bailey said this bench is the only one in the world, and he will cherish it forever.