BY: RACHEL WUMKES
We watched the weather all week long. Hoping. Praying. Crossing our fingers and toes the rain and wind would blow away in the night, leaving Saturday with sunshine and mild temps.
Unfortunately, it was not in the cards.
Instead, Saturday was a torrential monsoon for most of the morning. Drowning out the hopes and dreams of many Harvest Fest attendees. But alas, the rain finally cleared, and though the streets were soggy, the wine tasted delicious. Those who braved the elements, armed with umbrellas and warm coats and rubber rain boots, had a GREAT time. Determined to make the best of Mother Nature’s temper tantrum.
Seriously... what a testament to this fantastic event that people come out in droves rain or shine?!?! Now that's true Harvest Fest dedication!
I SO wish we could control the weather for these events. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to turn a dial and just choose fantastic conditions whenever we need it?
But even with the cold and the rain, a good amount of people showed up for the Annual Champagne 5K to kick off the festivities. All thanks to these amazing sponsors who made the fun run/walk possible: Lake Towing, American Solutions for Business, Rookies, Sevens, Tap’d, Pepsi, Hy-Vee.
And a special thanks to Shawn Sabin for hosting the turnaround party in her garage due to the weather! Looks like a fun time despite the rain.
Through it all, the Harvest Fest Committee worked their tails off to ensure a great day no matter what. We salute their continuous drive to make the next event better than the year before, giving up much of their valuable free time to ensure a wonderful Harvest Festival for everyone in attendance.
A special thanks to our friends at the Red Geranium who so beautifully decorated the VIP lounge for the event. Your festive décor was absolutely gorgeous! And to Hy-Vee West for so graciously sponsoring the VIP Lounge at the Yacht Club.
We also want to give a special shout out to the 40+ volunteers who helped make the day a smashing success. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to offer all the fun activities and extra perks of the day. So we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts! Especially Taylor Barragy – who’s been helping with all Chamber events for many years! She went above and beyond, assisting with cleanup of the Chamber office, as well as the Yacht Club on Sunday.
An exceptional thanks to Jim at the Parks & Rec Department who put out the picnic tables on Main Street in the wee early hours Saturday morning. And to Steven Story for so graciously being the bike lead for the Champagne 5K.
And to all the wine vendors, shopping vendors, food vendors and musicians who fought through the nasty weather and pulled through for us – THANK YOU! We had to improvise a bit, moving things inside and altering the schedule for the day, we y’all just rolled with the punches and made it work. A great big thanks to our friends at the VFW who allowed a musician to perform there instead of out in the nasty weather. And to Farmers State Bank for allowing the salsa contest to take place inside as well.
We tried something new this year and included a Pole Decorating contest for the event. I was blown away at the effort these groups and businesses went to for such a fun project. *Hall Realty *Cookies etc *Cabin Coffee *Central Gardens *Athletico *CL Tel *Wilcox Furniture *Clear Lake CARES *Farmers State Bank *Clear Lake Bank & Trust *Clear Lake Rotary *Clear Lake Volleyball
For our “Where’s Maxine” sponsors –Larson’s, Unique Boutique, Emersons, Lake Lifestyles and the Lade of the Lake. You made a cheesy little game so much fun for our attendee’s!
Thanks to the group of young individuals from Zion Lutheran for their cleanup of Main Street and City Park after the event. We appreciate your community involvement and assistance in keeping our town looking magnificent.
Big shout-out to the CLPD for setting out barricades to close the streets, and helping remove them at the end of the event. Your commitment to keeping us all safe is always appreciated.
And lastly, thank you to all our businesses who so generously opened up their store to be a sampling location. I know we ask a lot of you all throughout the year, but without your endless support we could not make Clear Lake the amazingly awesome travel destination it’s grown to be!
Mostly, thank you to those who attend this event. Whether it was your first Harvest Festival, of you’ve been a dedicated attendee the past 15 years. YOUR enthusiasm and spirit are what make Clear Lake Harvest Fest one of the VERY BEST events around.
We appreciate the past 15 years of Harvest Fest success and look forward to the next 15 years – hopefully all with favorable weather!!