Countless hours. 95 degrees. Sun, no clouds. Lots of sweat. And doing it all for the smiles of the thousands who came out for the annual Spencerville Summerfest.
Outside of my role as director of creative strategy at Marketing Essentials, I volunteer as president of the Spencerville Chamber of Commerce and serve as the chair of its annual festival, the Spencerville Summerfest. At Marketing Essentials, one of our benefits includes a Pay It Forward day that allows employees to get paid 8 hours for volunteer work. I used my Pay It Forward time this year in my role as festival chair.
I have been serving as festival chair since January 2021, taking the reins from former chair Ida Kay Kellar, who passed away and had held the position for 20 years. I had some really big and respected shoes to fill!
About the Spencerville Summerfest
Summerfest, held the last weekend in June, includes carnival rides, entertainment, delicious vendor food, a car show, craft show, parade and one of the best fireworks shows in the area.
Setting up for the festival is not an easy task! This year, I, my co-chair Ashley and fellow committee members tackled the setup, which included meeting and greeting vendors (beverage, ice, porta-potties, tent, stage, food etc.), ensuring vendors had everything they needed, setting up barriers and trash barrels, placing poles and snow fence and hanging sponsor banners.
The Summerfest Committee consists of eight, highly dedicated residents of Spencerville who put in many hours planning this one weekend. Each committee member is a chair for the different portions of our festival including fundraising, advertising, entertainment, entertainment tent volunteer coordination, food vendor, car show, craft show, fireworks and more.
Planning for the Summerfest starts August the year before. We plan entertainment as early as possible to get top bands and also plan fundraising events such as a bowling event, golf scramble and bingo.
We meet monthly to see where each person is at on their portion of the festival, and we jump in as a team if a committee member needs help. As we get closer to the event, we meet every other week to tie up loose ends.
Outside of our committee, we work closely with the Invincible Fire Department, Spencerville Police Department and Village of Spencerville administration to coordinate the rides, activities and also any safety factors.
This year we were able to bring in bigger bands such as Shifferly Road, Naked Karate Girls (NKG) and Haywired. We also brought in Adams Entertainment to provide a little extra fun for the kids! They brought characters such as Spiderman, Elsa and Olaf, Optimus Prime and Blu the dinosaur to mingle with the kids.
Of course, at the end of every party, there is clean-up. We wrapped up the whole event on Sunday morning by cleaning the Spencerville Bearcats football field, which had fireworks debris scattered all over. On a normal year, we would then go uptown and clean off the sidewalks and pick up trash, but were met with a surprise this year as the Cub Scouts took care of that for us.
Dedication and teamwork are what make this festival happen every year! Our team is super proud of what we were able to accomplish this year, and we look forward to doing it all again for the 2023 Spencerville Summerfest!