Town & Country Festival committee looking for funds 2.27

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s Town and Country Festival will go on as planned June 27-29, but what about the next year?

Festival committee members aren’t sure what’s in store for the future.

“We’re at a crossroads,” said committee member Barb Foss. “There might very well not be a festival next year.”

The group is looking for more volunteers, more ideas and more sources of revenue.

“We want the public to know that it costs from $10,000 to $15,000 annually,” Foss said, “and most of what we offer doesn’t pay a return.”

There’s no admission charged for fireworks, for example, and the cost of the show is around $5,000. A few thousand dollars are spent on bands and those are also offered free.

Foss said it’s difficult finding a carnival that will sign a contract without a guaranteed minimum profit. The agreements bring the festival little, if any, income.

“The rodeo was successful last year,” she said, “but we barely covered their fee.”

Foss says committee members approach the same local businesses over and over for donations and she knows there are limits to that endeavor, especially during the existing tough economy.

“We’re all very concerned,” she said. “We don’t know how we’re going to get more money.”

She said the committee is very open to listening to ideas, not only for fund raising but also for making the festival better. She’s certain there are people in the area with good ideas, but they seldom step forward to present them.

“They don’t have to take charge of it,” she said, “just give us the ideas.”

This year’s festival will take on more of a family day atmosphere on Sunday. There will be no mud bog, but a BMX bicycle race is planned. The chicken dinner might be moved to Sunday, also, she said.

“We’re going to try some different things to bring more people into the park.”

The festival committee works at Michigan International Speedway for all three races. With enough help, Foss said, those events are very big fund raisers.

The group is allotted space for 18 workers for each race. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. The committee is looking for people to work in at least one of the three races.

The committee meets at 7 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month. Anyone from the public is welcome to attend.

For more information or to offer services, call Foss at 517/458-2319 or Sue Snyder at 458-2047.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016