June a busy month for FergusPublished 9:39am Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Updated 11:44am Wednesday, July 3, 2013
June has been one of the busiest and important months Fergus Falls has been privileged to enjoy in a very long time. Here are a few highlights.
Half Marathon saw
On Saturday June 1, Athletic Republic sponsored their Half Marathon which attracted 1,100 entrants (a record number) for the various races from all over the community, region and state. The weather cooperated and enabled the Lake Region Healthcare mission to encourage a “Healthy Community” and to also provide another signature community event in 2013.
The Daily Journal headlines read: SummerFest big at RTC. Attendance hits all-time 14,000 for two days. (June 7 and 8) That’s nearly double from 2012 and represents the largest attendance the event has ever had. More than 100 craft vendors and 15 food venders filled the grounds over the two-day festival.
The parade was a huge success with crowds lining the parade route to view the 75 businesses and hear the three invited high school bands (including the Fergus Falls Marching Band) that delighted the record turnout.
The RTC Campus continues to be a popular site that attracts crowds to it.
Forward Fergus Falls Community Celebration
Forward Fergus Falls enjoyed a Community Celebration Breakfast June 13 in Legacy Hall on the M State-Fergus Falls campus.
FFF Stewards and guests were treated to a review of 2013 Destiny Driver highlights. The program began with an invocation by Pastor Kate Bruns of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Mayor Hal Leland gave a welcome, presented a Community Service Award to The Midweek, and gave an up-date on the RTC; Harold Stanislawski gave an overview and history of FFF; Erin Smith outlined the Public Library’s Emerging Driver outreach; Jerry Ness and Carrie Brimhall reviewed the Education Excellence Driver; Nick Plaza presented the youth engagement effort; the city Police Station and Tower Road and Bridge projects were highlighted by Mark Sievert; Jean Bowman of the CVB explained the new Welcome Sign project, Blandin Leadership Training, Signature Events, and the Community Calendar; Tim Brinkman, Harold Stanislawski, and Greg Wagner reviewed the Telework Initiative and Community Economic Development progress; Laurie Mullen explained efforts to revitalize the downtown; Larry Schulz highlighted the Wellness Driver and Community Garden while also serving as the program moderator. Patrick Hollister represented the Active Living Driver while focusing on the Bike or Walk to School or Work Week promotion.
Thank you all for your leadership and efforts to move Fergus Falls Forward.
Historic Kirkbride, LLC provides historic moment
The Fergus Falls City Council selected Historic Properties to redevelop Parcel D and the RTC Kirkbride facility at a special City Council meeting held June 20. State Grant Consultant Kent Mattson was instructed to craft an agreement with Historic Kirkbride, LLC to preserve and redevelop the Kirkbride Building.
This was an historic moment and action for our city, for preservationists, economic developers and the entire community. The proposed $41 Million project would include a 120 room boutique hotel, 4 to 5 restaurants, 60 market-rate apartments, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and many amenities. The plan would create 190 new and permanent jobs and provide numerous jobs during construction.
A grand opening is planned for September 2015. This economic development project will make Fergus Falls a destination for visitors, vacationers, workers and permanent residents. We now need to celebrate this landmark event and everyone should lend their support and encouragement as the city and Historic Kirkbride, LLC negotiate the agreements necessary to move this historic project forward.
Vestlandslag Stevne a hit
The long-awaited Vestlandslag Stevne came to Fergus Falls and the Bigwood Event Center June 20. Vestlandslag is a Norwegian heritage organization convening people whose ancestors are from a similar region in Norway to share experiences, research family roots and celebrate their culture.
This year our Sister City region of Nordhordland is celebrating their centennial which made their visit extra special. Mayor Hal Leland proclaimed June 20-22, as “Norwegian Heritage Days.”
Veterans Home parade
June ended with the traditional Veterans Home Parade and celebration honoring our veterans who served in many wars and conflicts and sacrificed for our freedoms. We thank our veterans for their service and sacrifices for this great nation. We wish every one a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.
Please say “thank you” to a veteran.
Hal Leland is the mayor of Fergus Falls.