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Letter: Thanks Given for Another 'Unforgettable' PrairieFest

Jun 22, 2015 05:00PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Patrons enjoy opening night at PrairieFest Thursday.

PrairieFest this year was unforgettable for so many reasons. 

We listened to a little darling sing “You Are My Sunshine” to her grandparents on the Listen Local stage. We saw our first Bubble Soccer game. We got to meet Anthony Anderson, and the whole weekend was recorded by The Food Network. There were Ferris Wheel rides and deep fried mac and cheese.

I guess life demands a little balance, because we had some tough moments. The first forecasts for our festival called for four days of thunderstorms. We had sunny skies and happy crowds right up until our Saturday night band, Loverboy, was due to play. Just about the time our spirits wanted to pack it in, Sunday saw a lot of people at the race, the parade, and on the grounds.

The Oswegoland Park District thanks PrairieFest Presenting Partner, Castle Bank for supporting another successful PrairieFest. From smiles to silly painted faces, their presence is felt throughout the grounds. The partnership filled the stage and the Castle Bank Event Tent all weekend long!

Thank you also to our Title Partners, Groot Industries, Jonny’s Towing and Recovery, and Meijer. The free petting zoos, complimentary pony rides, and children’s entertainment wouldn’t be possible without their support.

So many other businesses and organizations came together to help the festival stay a free experience for the community.  Oswego School District 308 provided the ample asphalt parking with their bus lot that enabled us to safely park festival guests without tearing up our athletic fields. 

It is quite a process to move every bus to an alternative location, and we appreciate the work of the 308 Transportation Department.  The Village of Oswego provided us with two key elements of PrairieFest: their Public Works building as a headquarters and shelter, and a Police Department that is second to none in public safety and community service.

I send my heartfelt thanks to all the first responders of Oswego. With the events this weekend, I witnessed such genuine dedication. Working with the Oswego Police on the incoming weather, and having the Oswego Fire Protection District just across the grass in an emergency is a partnership for this community with the most miraculous benefits.

In between fun of the dunk tanks and bucket brigades, it’s almost hard to spot the amazing work they do. The staff at the Oswegoland Park District is sincerely grateful for Chief Burgner, Commander Delphey, and their team and Chief Neitzer, Deputy Chief Veseling, Captain Cornish and their department.

I work with hard-working people who are enthusiastic and committed to the community. Most days I work just to be worthy of being by their side. Thank you, to the Oswegoland Park District staff.

We’ve got ideas for next year, along with the number for Loverboy’s manager, so get ready for PrairieFest 2016, June 16-19.

Kristie Vest, Special Events Supervisor, Oswegoland Park District

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