A meeting was held Thursday to discuss its future

The future of Crookston’s Ox Cart Days remains uncertain as the Chamber of Commerce, who has housed and operated the festival for many years, looks to move it towards a community-led effort. A meeting led by Mayor Wayne Melbye to seek out options for the future of the festival included Chamber director Amanda Lien along with representation from the Visitor’s Bureau, City Council and Ox Cart committee at City Hall Thursday.

    The most logical solution explored seemed to be that the festival would need to stand on its own and seek a non-profit status.

    Lien says that while she and her board believe that the festival needs to be ran separately, the Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau would like to continue to maintain a partnership with future festival coordinators.

    Ox Cart Days’ current chair Nell DeBoer stepped up to take over the festival in late 2016 after what Mayor Melbye says Lien called an event that could be “dead” if not revitalized. DeBoer planned and executed five full days of events in August and Ox Cart Days treasurer, Tom Skjei, says that they came out ahead with an income to carry over to the next year.

    The 2017 Ox Cart Days committee will hold a public Open House on September 7 from 5-7 p.m. at the Crookston Inn & Convention Center for people to weigh in on how they thought this year’s festival went, if anything needs to change and what they’d like to see for future festivals.