With a few exceptions, the bills for John C. Fremont Days are paid! Our Board wishes to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed funds, time and support. There are just 13 board volunteers to handle all the aspects of the festival, so we need you.

Post celebration planning discussions over the past 10 years have centered around the vendors at the park. A review of the early festivals indicated a focus upon the history of the Pathfinder. For very defendable reasons, Boards moved toward adding vendors to the park. Visitors were hungry. Workers were thirsty. So food vendors were added; merchandising followed.

This summer we filled over 140 slots with not-always-so-historical vendors. Our board has determined that next year would be a good year to reverse this trend.

Last week we sent out letters to about 80 percent of our vendors thanking them for their past participation and informing them of our intent to return to our mission. History. Education. Family entertainment. The vacated areas will be offered to new vendors. Ones that more closely align with our mission. Simply put, think “Junkstock”. Two or three years from now, we hope to have the park full again.

In addition, we have initiated the quest to offer a “juried” art show at the mall. Air-conditioned and secure! Easy parking.

Our goals also include continuing events which seem most popular to you. This determination is made by your feet. That is, what you support. We watched closely last summer.

Let me give a shout out to Siffring’s for their work with Keep Fremont Beautiful. That arrangement at the park was excellent. The group who creates the Clemmons Park activities deserve a round of applause also. Hopefully, we can create a stage to highlight their presentations.

Perhaps we should re-emphasize the idea that participants in the parade are to build a float using the year’s theme. We need some creativity. Some off-beat entries. Free spirited floats.

So tasks of renewal await our board during these next months. It’s your financial support which forms the basis for all of our goals. John C. Fremont Days is a stand alone non-profit. Our office phone is 402-727-9428. We are listening.

Don Cunningham of Fremont is a freelance columnist.

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