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Osakis Voices: An inside look at Moonshine Madness

Every now and then I should write something about the Chamber, versus whatever I may be thinking about at the time I decide to write an article. Except right now the Chamber is exactly what I'm thinking about. It's currently the day before the big fall festival for Osakis — Moonshine Madness! By the time you read this, the festival will have passed, but the plans for improvements into next year's event will be underway!

I've been president of the Osakis Chamber now for almost four years. When I started on the Chamber board, I hardly knew what was all involved with being on a board such as this. I was naive to the amount of work it takes to put together events, both big and small, to our town. It's almost like planning a wedding in that you spend a ton of time tweaking ideas and lining up everything from flowers to cake to music to outfits for months before the big day in order to put on a great celebration.

Planning an event is much like that, except the appetite for volunteers to coordinate a large event, such as Moonshine Madness, is insatiable. The committee of volunteers that starts meeting when there is still snow on the ground to organize Moonshine Madness is one that is made up of quite a few different community members. We've got teachers, business owners and employees of local businesses. Everyone brings ideas and different strengths to the table to make a very strong and healthy team of planners.

The committee for this year's Moonshine Madness is no different. From lining up semis for the show and the parade, to setting up pontoon rides, trolley rides, drivers for the trolleys, signage, sponsors, the rodeo, food vendors, craft vendors, live music entertainment, bean bag tournament, bingo licensing, garbage duty, shirt designs, the beer tent, garbage and bathroom duty, first aid station, getting proper paperwork filed to put on the event, advertising, lining up the Sheriff's Posse for traffic directing to setting up all the tents and inflatables, parking and probably a dozen other things I can't think of off the top of my head. Now, I purposely wrote that last sentence as a long one to really try and show how much goes into putting on a community event. We absolutely cannot do it without the help that we have on our committee. Everyone has their own tasks to make sure get handled completely and correctly, and we meet each month to make sure those goals and bookings are being met. It's teamwork like this that helps make for a successful festival!

Being on the organizational end of an event is truly rewarding. Putting something together that's fun and family friendly that draws people into our town is certainly something to be proud of, and I for one and certainly proud of the team of people that worked together to put on Moonshine Madness. If you were able to make it downtown to partake in the festival, thank you! We all hope you enjoyed yourself and had a great time. To those that couldn't make it, I hope you can next year! We'll do what we can to add new events to keep it fresh!