BY: RACHEL WUMKES

By now, you should have all recovered from the fun that was Clear Lake’s Harvest Festival celebration.  The day, which celebrated its 17th anniversary of this premier event, was above and beyond a huge success.  People came out in droves to peruse the vendors along Main Avenue, listen to live music and sip on the sweet, delicious wines from around the state of Iowa.

But this event doesn’t just ‘happen.’  In fact, the planning for ways to improve the event, making it a bigger and better fall celebration for next year has already begun.  Brainstorming sessions, committee meetings, lists and lists and more lists are in the works.

For today, however, let’s do a rundown of all the people, groups and organizations who made Harvest Festival 2021 the best one yet.

Of course, the first group on the list is ALL OF YOU!!  The official “Harvest Festival Supporters” who purchased souvenir bags.  Honestly, it’s the glue that holds this entire event together.  You’re the peanut butter to our jelly.

The spaghetti to our meatballs.

Basically, without the community support of bag purchases, we would not be able to hold the event.  Period.  And that would make a lot of people super-duper sad (me included).  So, a great big THANKS to all the VIP and general admission bag purchases – stay tuned for next year, we just might have some fun ideas up our sleeves!

As always, we also couldn’t hold this awesome day of fun without the sponsors.  These people so generously give to the Chamber organization, enabling us to put quality events and entertainment on for the masses.

Cornerstone Sponsors:

Clear Lake Bank & Trust

CL Tel

Kingland Systems

First Gabrielson Agency

Larson’s Mercantile

MBT Bank

Music Sponsors:

RookiesSevensTap’d

First Citizens

Xtream/MediaCom

Clear Lake Storage Depot

Oakwood Care Center

Farmer’s State Bank

Country Meadow Place

Of course, the whole sh’bang would just be a giant mess of chaos without the incredible committee.  Their commitment and dedication to creating a fun, safe, and enjoyable event for the community is second to none.  They will spend the whole year in meetings, finding the perfect gifts, and coming up with new activities or fun little interests for the day!

Committee:

Jennifer Larson – Committee Chair

Taylor Barragy, Deb Cash, Jenny Doughty, Linda Jarnagin, Carlie Long, Natalie Plagge, Carrie Shannon, and Carrie Tysdahl.

Thank you, ladies!!!

The day started off with a super-fun run/walk along South Shore.  Thanks to Libbey Hohn, Race Director for the Champagne 5K, who created an entertaining start to the morning with a glass of bubbly at the turnaround point, and a finish line full of fun, music, and more champagne!

Again, to the sponsors of this event, thanks for pitching in and making it so memorable for all the participants.

American Solutions for Business

Bergland + Cram

Studio 65

Sevens/Rookies/Tap’d

Charlie’s Soda Fountain

White Barn Picket Fence

Nash & Ivy

That’s already a ginormous list of people to thank… but I’m not done!  Of course, there’s the “behind” the scenes crew of city employees who make sure our safety and security is on the up-and-up all day long.  To Parks & Rec Department, Public Works Department, and the City of Clear Lake we thank you, good and faithful servants of your community, for providing a top-notch job for us all.

To the countless volunteers – WOW!  You didn’t have to, but you stepped up and were SUCH an incredible help throughout the entire day.

And in case you missed it, there were hay rides this year!  Special thanks to Dave Fritz for taking on that task and providing a fun little trip around the area that many enjoyed.

These next two groups, I hope you all had the most magical day filled with fun conversations with customers and lots of sales. The vendors, along with the wineries and breweries who took the time to travel and participate in our event… THANK YOU!  I hope you had high sales, and come back again next year.

And now… for the list of winners.  I mean, you’re ALL winners in my book, but there were a few “official” champions throughout the day. THANK YOU to everyone who participated, who entered salsa or decorated a light pole.  Main Avenue has never looked so festive!

WINNERS:

Salsa Contest:

1st Place Mild – Laurie O’Connor

1st Place Medium – Paul Lopez

1st Place Hot – Mark Ostermann

 

Champagne 5K:

Top 3 – Ryan Smith, Own Smith, Isaac Smith

And yes, they are all in the same family 😊

 

$100 Shopping Spree:

Nicole Praska

$500 Winner:

Brooke Stewart

 

Pole Decorating Contest:

1st Place – Central Gardens

2nd Place – Skips Kicks

3rd Place – Hall Realty

 

Guess the Corks:

Large – Vickie Hudson

Small – Faith Miller

 

Best Wine of the Day:

1st Place – Lazy Acres Vineyard with First Kiss

2nd Place – Van Wijk Winery with Abeja Reing – Raspberry Mead

3rd Place – The Cellar Winery with BIN 500/Frontenac

 

Again, thank you to everyone who came out.  Seeing the streets of Clear Lake filled with smiling, happy faces was the very best part of my day.  From start to finish, it was just sheer perfection, and we cannot thank you all enough for making it such a successful event.

Until next year…