Community festivals are a lot of work.
Rock County’s social calendar 20 years ago amounted to summer town celebrations, Tri-State Band Festival and, of course, Hot Dog Night.
These were a lot of fun and offered great photo opportunities for news people.
Today there’s a major event on the calendar nearly every other weekend, illustrated by the Chamber’s quarterly report during the Jan. 28 Luverne City Council meeting.
For anyone taking notes during Jane Wildung Lanphere’s director report, the list is dizzying.
In addition to the regular summer town celebrations in Luverne and countywide, Lanphere talked about Love the Ladies Expo, the new Bourbon Barrel Festival at Take 16, monthly plaza events in the summer, Rock County’s 150th anniversary in 2021 (including all county towns), the Band Festival’s 70th anniversary this year, Ride the Rock, Ride the Loop, Rock County Ring Neck Reunion, and the list goes on.
The celebrations, festivals and special events are a lot of work, and sometimes a person wonders, “Are they necessary?”
Wouldn’t it be easier to just take the summer off? Maybe we could skip Friendship Days in Hills or Jubilee Days in Hardwick?
… You know, just cancel one here or there, due to volunteer fatigue.
Not a chance.
Wanna know why?
These festivals and special events, big and small, are important to the health and vitality of communities, big and small.
If you ask chamber of commerce leaders in any small community, they’ll tell you the activities bring people — and their money — to town and into stores, restaurants and gas stations.
But on another level, every time a community gears up to host a big event, it brings together citizens, community leaders and volunteers all working toward a common goal of putting our best foot forward.
The direct and indirect effects of these encounters are important for building relationships across all walks of life and for providing opportunities for participation and involvement for all ages.
If you don’t believe this, look around this weekend’s Get Hooked Fishing Derby at The Lake in Luverne (see the front page story) and take note of all the different cogs in the wheel that moves the action.
It’s a perfect example of partnerships among people and groups who wouldn’t often otherwise cross paths.
You’ll see the Boy Scouts, the Beaver Creek Sportsman’s Club, the Chamber, private individuals and fisher people from all cross-sections of southwest Minnesota. …
… All at the same place at the same time to have fun, catch fish and create community pride.