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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Letter to the Editor: A time to celebrate, a time to look back over 25 years of our Ox Cart Days Festival

  • With summer here, our minds drift to many things – days and weekends spent in the sun, at the lake, grilling hot dogs, summer trips and breaks from school. And without thinking too far ahead of ourselves, we also cannot think of summer in Crookston without Ox Cart Days.
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  •     With summer here, our minds drift to many things – days and weekends spent in the sun, at the lake, grilling hot dogs, summer trips and breaks from school. And without thinking too far ahead of ourselves, we also cannot think of summer in Crookston without Ox Cart Days.   
        For the Chamber office and the Crookston Festival Committee, Ox Cart Days is on our minds far in advance. We start thinking of it and planning for it as soon as the snow begins to disappear, being reminded that the grass will soon be green and we’ll be busy at work throughout the summer months.   
        During the current months however, hours have been spent researching the transition and changes of our festival that was once known as Pioneer Days. And this year marks a very special one in its history as lucky number 25. So, on an anniversary of a festival close to our hearts, what better time to look back over the past and see how things have changed over the years, from a headstrong festival board, to the Chamber office taking the reins, and take an opportunity to implement new change.    
        The Crookston Chamber of Commerce took over this event as it came to a crossroads and as an opportunity to promote our community. A festival was a way to work with our community, businesses, compile resources, and ultimately use these resources to continue promoting our businesses and community all year round.    
        There have been suggestions circulating that the festival name does not entail what the event is all about. It is true that we try hard to remain true to its roots and purpose. But as the times have changed, the time of our festival so has to.    
        The RiverView Bed Races, Tractor Pedal Pull, Battle of the Bands, Torchlight Parade & Hugo’s Fireworks Show remain key events that have survived the test of time. And in years prior, remaining true to original objectives, big efforts were made to continue bringing new and exciting events to this weekend of family fun.   
        But today marks a new day, today reminds us that 25 years ago, this was set out to be a community event, run by a community. And today we ask that the community help us to continue to do what has been done for the many years before. Prior to Ox Cart Days, the name also boosted Summerfest which seemed to fit the part but didn’t stick. And Pioneer Days before that. And as time seems to slip away faster, and money and working hands remain tight, we must reexamine how we will move forward and continue to bring this event to our kids and grandkids.    
    Page 2 of 2 -     So we ask you, Crookston, to be a part of the community event, to help us as a small group continue to bring the entertainment you enjoy. A collaborative effort of many makes an extraordinary event for us all.    
        If you are a group or organization, what better time to plan a fundraiser. If you are an individual or team, what better time to have that tournament you were always dreaming about! We will continue to do what we do best – the marketing of community and business events, the ongoing relationships with key sponsors and partners, and infrastructure arrangements – But to make it a reality, it will be the work of the dreamer. We will continue to seek sponsorships, but more than your dollar, we ask for your assistance, and some extra working hands. We ask you as a community to help us continue bringing these events to our town and making them a reality for another 25 years or more.

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