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Oswego PrairieFest Doubles Profit Over Last Year

Aug 21, 2014 09:03PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Oswego’s annual summer festival PrairieFest more than doubled its profit this year.

Four ideal days of weather and a keen eye on expenditures led to a $15,655 profit for 2014 for the Oswegoland Park District. Profit for 2013’s fest was $6,595.

“We had over 50,000 people from all around the region enjoy the carnival, food, parade, music and events offered over the course of four beautiful days in June,” said Kristie Vest, the park district’s special events supervisor, in a memo to Park Board trustees.

The park district cut $20,000 in expenses this year with the bulk of the savings coming from $8,000 less spent on the production of the musical acts. 

Vest also touted the success of the pop-up dog park set up at Prairie Point Park during the fest. In part, it's the popularity of that event that has led to the drive for a new permanent dog park in Jaycee Park off Douglas Road.

“We were interested in seeing if it would be well attended, would people bring well socialized dogs, how loud would a park like this be, and would people clean up after their pets,” Vest said. “On Sunday night the only thing I needed to pick up in the dog park area was a pair of flip flops.”

RELATED: Oswego Dog Park Location Selected

As for this year’s carnival, Vest said the perfect weather played an important part in revenue records being broken every day except for Sunday when strong winds blew across the festival. 

Carnival Eats, the Food Network program that taped at the festival on Thursday and Friday, brought a “unique experience” this year, and will provide several marketing opportunities for the future, Vest said. A date has yet to announced when the episode will air.

“We were so pleased to offer this experience and promotional boost to the outstanding food vendors who worked with us in 2014,” she said.

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