Vogt's Notes: Give thanks (not rants) for those who work hard for others to have fun
It's definitely festival season in the lakes area. From the thousands of people who filled area towns for Fourth of July festivities, to this week's Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes, to Summerfest in Pine River at the end of the month, the area has been bustling with activity.
That's not to mention Fifty Lakes Day and Emily Day, myriad fun runs, county fairs, music events ... the list honestly is nearly endless.
One thing every one of these events has in common is quite important - people to plan them, organize them and carry them out. And they all take money. While many of the events may be free to participants, they aren't necessarily free to put on.
I've seen some rantings on Facebook about the Fourth of July fireworks shows in Pequot Lakes and Crosslake, and the parade in Brainerd. I'd suggest that before people rant, they first look for the explanation behind their complaints.
The fireworks company that long coordinated shows in area cities - Zambelli Fireworks - no longer does so because of the death last year of rural Pequot Lakes resident Dean Kuhn, who was in charge of area shows. That means new companies were brought in this year.
Fireworks are expensive. A $7,000 show equals about 11 minutes of fireworks. Would you like a longer display exploding in the skies in area communities? Feel free to pitch in some money - area chambers of commerce won't turn away your contributions.
In Crosslake, technical woes delayed the fireworks show. In Crosslake and Pequot Lakes, some fireworks weren't shot high enough for all spectators to see. Those are issues that will be worked on for next year.
As for parades, chamber employees can't force residents, businesses and organizations to participate with a float. Again, it takes people's time and money to build a float and walk in a parade. I walked in two parades so was unable to see many of the entrants. But from the photos I've seen, there were a lot of fun floats in our area parades.
Were you in any of our area communities over the Fourth of July holiday? It takes a lot of teamwork and dedication to bring parades, food vendors, bands and all those other activities to fruition.
Did you get stuck in traffic? That's inevitable with so many people in our communities. We have to be patient. When I was directed out to the highway when I really wanted to come into Pequot Lakes, I didn't give up. I just racked up a few extra miles and found a different way into town. We have to be persistent.
I'd like to send a great big kudos to all the area people involved in all of our festivals, fairs and activities for jobs well done. There is always something going on, and their hard work is appreciated.
We must realize the many hours of time that go into our small-town festivals. Year after year, some of the same people work hard so others can enjoy the offerings.
If you have any new ideas, thoughts for improvement, bodies to volunteer or money to contribute, please do so. Let's continue to make the lakes area a fun destination for residents and visitors alike.