Craft show, parade attracts big crowdsPublished 11:27am Monday, June 10, 2013
There were a few close calls with the weather, but the area community proved resilient for SummerFest this weekend.
A large number of participants attended this year’s event. While the committee is still waiting on the final count, well over 7,000 people made their way to the event, according to committee member Emily Larby. More than 100 craft and 15 food vendors set up shop on the grounds of the RTC this weekend, and some ran out of things to sell over the two days.
“We targeted a lot of younger kids this year and I just saw a lot of families hanging out,” Larby said. “The biggest thing we noticed was that people had smiles on their faces and were having fun. That’s why we have this event and make it free to attend.”
From games to the vendors, Larby said the committee heard a positive response from those running events. The weather remained clear, and she said people were overjoyed with the involvement from so many in the community.
A parade capped off the weekend Saturday afternoon and Larby said it reflected how much the community supported the event. Over 75 businesses participated with over 100 floats. Even as rain looked imminent, crowds lined the route down Lincoln to Friberg.
“We were floored by how many people attended the parade,” Larby said.
Despite challenges from the weather, the Fergus Falls EAA 1174 Fly In breakfast was a success. Planes could not take to the sky, but a large number of waffles were served by Dad’s Belgian Waffles.
“It went very well,” said Curt Malecha, who helped with the event. “We had a great turn out and everybody had great fun.”
In their fourth year providing waffles at the event, Dad’s served 1,100 waffles to 750 people. The Fergus Falls Future Farmers of America helped with service and cleaning during the event. Dad’s is already scheduled for next year’s event as well.
The group uses the money they raise to fund the Young Eagles program that provides free flights to area eigth-graders. This May, the group flew over 450 flights with the program.
With the event such a success, Larby said the committee looks forward to a repeat for next year.
“The SummerFest committee wants to thank all the people who came out and supported the events, from the people to the business,” Larby said. “We feel this year went really well, but we’re looking forward to continuing to build the festival and make it even better next year.”