Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summerfest kick starts summer fun

The impressive turn out for the 17th annual Route 66 Summerfest, including the Cruise In, Route 66 Pageant, Classic Car Show, Movies Under the Starts, Midway booths and rides, and Outdoor Concert, indicate this year’s event was one of the best attended since the inception of Summerfest.
Thanks to beautiful weather and a lot of folks and organizations planning and working together throughout the past six months, the event came off without a hitch. Although that may not be accurate, as there were pony rides available on Saturday in the downtown festival lot. Nonetheless, a lot of hard work and effort went into this event by Summerfest organizer Nick Barrack, Jim Larson (who organizes the classic Car Show on Pine Street and Downhill Derby), Stevie Kearse, Executive Director of the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and her staff and the Rolla Downtown Business Association, and other members of the Route 66 Summerfest Committee, which includes several City department directors, and members of the community. 
The event continues to expand and grow every year and with the addition of the Region 6 Hot Foot Pursuit 5K and 10 K Walk/Run held last Saturday, and a greatly expanded Arts & Crafts Festival, and Classic Car show, Summerfest continues to be a celebration of not only Route 66, but also the people and businesses who make up the Rolla community. And in addition to the folks I mentioned above, I would be remiss to not also mention the many City departments who were an integral part of what made this year’s Summerfest such a hit, including the Street Department that super-cleaned the streets; the Parks and Recreation Department that provided access and use of the downtown bandshell and downtown festival lots; the Environmental Services Department that provided recycling and waste container; the Public Works Department, which closed several streets in the downtown area and created several Summerfest banners that were displayed throughout the community; and the Rolla Police Department for providing security and safety, and the Rolla Fire and Rescue Department for the ladder truck and spray hose that cooled some folks off, and provided plenty of relief from the heat.  I would also like to thank Steve Hargis, Director of Public Works, who provides free hot, buttered popcorn for the Movie Under the Stars event every year at the downtown bandshell.
Ber Juan Sportsplex, located at the other end of town off 18th Street in Ber Juan Park, was also filled to the brim last weekend with athletes, friends and fans either participating in or attending numerous high-level softball tournaments throughout the weekend. The Ber Juan Tennis Complex, located just down the street from SplashZone, Rolla’s outdoor waterpark, was also filled last weekend with die-hard tennis players participating in the annual Friends of Tennis Route 66 Summerfest.
Rolla is fortunate to have the facilities, parkland, resources, volunteers, City employees and community support to make many of these festivals and events possible. What a great way to kick off the summer months and pave the way for the Rolla Lions Club Carnival which is just around the corner on July 4 through July 7 in Lions Club Park. Have a safe week!

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