Friday, July 13, 2012

4th of July Well Done!

I really love my job. Oh sure, it comes with frustrations but I really truly enjoy what I do.

If you ask my friends what I do, they might tell you I hang out on golf courses enjoying the sunshine and an ice cold drink. They might tell you I spend the day in the park listening to live music enjoying the view of the nearby lake. They might tell you I go to the parades and get paid for it.

And that's all true. But as the event planner for golf tournaments, seminars, community celebrations, parades, etc, I can tell you there's a heck of a lot more to it.

Take this year's 4th of July for example. For weeks leading up to the event, I worked 10 hour days mapping out the park, lining up 60 parade entries, and confirming things like the fireworks. I coordinated with the police department, the sheriff's department, the parks department, the street department.....I coordinated volunteers for everything from parking to barricade support to cleanup.

When the 4th finally arrived, I was up at 6 a.m. My committee agreed to flag duty which means at 6:30 a.m. we were tasked with putting over 100 flags down Main Street and in our town's Veteran's Memorial Park. It's not exactly easy but it is rewarding. The flags are posted high. My son (who's pretty tall) had to stand on a ladder in the back of a pick up truck to place them properly. I'm proud of my kids for wanting to help with this part of the event:
Then it was time to mark off the streets, warning folks that parking would not be allowed here during the parade.

After that, we moved into Veteran's Memorial Park. This park is beautifully located in downtown Klamath Falls and has wonderful lakefront views. It's the perfect place for our Jamboree celebrating America the Beautiful.

The event is free to the public and boasts games, activities, food, and live music. It's exciting to watch months of planning come to successful fruition. All of this is accomplished by only 7 people on my committee.  The local news station caught some of the action live on the 6 p.m. news, click here to watch.

The throngs of people start pouring in to the park after the parade at 5:30.
Estimates put attendance between 3 and 4,000 people.

Many businesses provide a free activity for kids.
Here Dollar Dog from Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union does a "ring the duck" contest.

The event is colorful and families really enjoy it.

Local rock band FatSexy played a mix of music. So talented!

Our local semi-pro baseball team, The Klamath Falls Gems, hosted a pie eating contest.
They even convinced my youngest to play along.

The event actually starts with a parade down Main Street.
This was our largest 4th of July parade in 5 years. Nearly 60 floats!

Food vendors (like this hot dog vendor) serve yummy food. Look at the lake in the background!

As event planner, I hardly have time to partake in the festivities. And I'm exhausted at the end. We literally worked from 6:30 a.m. to after midnight, organizing, cleaning, directing, and whatever else needed to happen.

Then the next morning we were up at 7 a.m. to cleanup the park and leave it as we found it. The local news station so very nicely showed up to record our cleanup efforts. If you want to watch the clip, click here.

All in all, I think it was a beautiful 4th of July! If you attended a celebration in your area, I encourage you to call the organizer and tell them thank you for all they do.

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