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Oswego PrairieFest Has Record Year

Jun 20, 2016 03:16PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Oswegoland Park District employee Brian Everhart propose to the love of his life in front of thousands on the PrairieFest Main Stage Saturday night.

The weather. Finally, we caught a break on the weather. PrairieFest saw four beautiful days in 2016, and we couldn’t be happier about it. We saw record crowds, and watched thousands of our friends and family enjoy the carnival, lumberjacks, races, and parade. The Oswegoland Park District is so grateful for those who came out to enjoy sunny summer days, and cool June nights.

We were able to have the American Heart Association give awards to Oswego’s Ariana Castillo and Darice Bohne who saved the life of two other Oswego residents. We watched Brian Everhart propose to the love of his life in front of thousands.

 The Heartland Blood Center collected donations, dogs found homes through the PrairiePaws Pet Adoption event, the Kiwanis Bags Tournament was initiated, the Rotary Duck Race had two lucky winners, and the Only Oswego Lemonade stand brought in more money for Children’s Cancer Research than ever before.

So, now that we have happy bellies full of Optimist Corn and the Otter Swim Team’s Lemon Shake Ups, we will start to look to PrairieFest 2017, June 15-18. Everyone can battle it out for the PrairieFest Parade Judge’s Cup that currently resides with the Oswego Rotary Club. We’ll cheer on kids as they cross the finish line of their first 5K and we’ll book bands who the whole family can listen to and enjoy.

But before the planning begins, we want to thank all the businesses and people who made this happen. Mechelle Kruse and her team at First National Bank support PrairieFest all year long as Presenting Partners of the festival. They are wonderful ambassadors for this community. We are grateful for our Title Partners of Groot Industries, Meijer, Rose Pest Solutions, and Xfinity. They all make sure that PrairieFest can allow free parking, free admission, and free concerts.

The Oswego Police Department under the direction of Chief Jeff Burgner and Deputy Chiefs Brad Delphey and James Jensen are integral to the success of our community festival. This unflappable, honorable, and compassionate group of professionals makes me proud to live in this town.

With hot temperatures, having the Oswego Fire Protection District on the grounds is imperative. They assisted every person who needed them for four very warm days. We are grateful for their support in keeping people safe on the PrairieFest grounds. 

The Oswegoland Park District says that PrairieFest is “The Spirit of a Town, the Party of the Year”. This community festival would be just another crowd of people in a field without the spirit that defines us; the volunteers. We had hundreds of people helping us host the festival. 

We are so grateful for the kiddos and junior high kids who picked up the grounds, the high school students and college kids who got every guest in and out of the parking lots with ease, and all the other faces who line the races, poured the beer, drove the shuttles, welcomed the gates, and manned the parade.

Thank you for a beautiful party, Oswego.

Kristie Vest, PrairieFest organizer, Oswegoland Park District

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