Memorial Weekend event celebrates 10th anniversary of helping othersThe free downtown event helps raise awareness of and funding for cystic fibrosis as well as raising money for Mitchell Main Street and Beyond.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
The Memorial Weekend in Mitchell event will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, May 26.
The free downtown event helps raise awareness of and funding for cystic fibrosis as well as raising money for Mitchell Main Street and Beyond.
Volunteers and sponsors are still being sought for the event, which is organized by an all-volunteer team.
“We have seen growth every year due to the dedication of our group of volunteers to make this event a yearly destination event to support the battle against cystic fibrosis, a cause that receives very little if any federal funding,” said Dan Schneider, a member of the Imagine Guild, which sponsors the weekend event.
“Almost everyone involved has a connection with someone with CF,” Schneider said. “We also want to be involved in being part of bringing a large-scale event to Mitchell. We continue each year to bring new venues to the event, which this year include a celebrity dunk tank, a barbecue contest to help fill a late-afternoon time slot and also allow teams to show their barbecue talent while helping raise funds for CF.”
Unlike past years, live music will be offered almost the entire day.
Billy Lurken will perform on the main stage at 1:30 p.m., followed by Chris Miller at 2:45 p.m.
A street dance will start at 4 p.m. featuring music from Kool 98 from the main stage.
At 6:30 p.m. Hadley Moody and the Renegades will take the stage, followed by Jimmy Weber at 9 p.m.
There is no charge. Plastic cups will be sold for $7, which allows people to buy drinks inside a downtown bar and take them onto the street to listen or dance.
Memorial Day Weekend in Mitchell was launched in 2002 as a poker run sponsored by Klockwerks, the Moonlight Bar, Miedema Sanitation and Porter Distributing.
About five years ago, Greg Foster, the late co-owner of the Moonlight, decided to raise its profile and ambitions.
Teaming with the city of Mitchell and the Mitchell Convention and Visitors Bureau, the holiday weekend event grew.
Main Street from The Depot to Sixth Street was closed on the Saturday of Memorial weekend, turning it into a city-wide event.
Carrie English, who is also a board member, said the downtown celebration should draw more people. In 2011, a warm weekend drew several thousand people.
“This year we have not only the key draws to Memorial Weekend in Mitchell, we have added a celebrity dunk tank, a barbecue cook-off and most importantly, bands throughout the entire day,” English said. “We couldn’t be any more proud than now with our new additions and time-honored traditions.
“I’m amazed at the fortitude and perseverance our group has gone through in the past year and they all deserve huge praise for the fantastic event they are about to put on,” she said. “It takes a village and all of our volunteers stepped up to the plate.”
Schneider said they do the work for the cause, not to receive praise.
“Our group’s goal is someday, CF stands for cure found,” he said.
To volunteer or make a donation, go to http://theimagineguild.org/ or contact Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 770-1109.
Photo courtesy Pat Ziegler
Memorial Day Weekend in Mitchell now packs downtown with events.