Prairie Days offered a good time
From: Sandie Adams-Bruins, Lester Prairie
I just wanted to publically acknowledge the Dodge House and One Eyed Willy’s for putting on such a wonderful Prairie Days Festival. I was at nearly every Prairie Days Planning Committee meeting, and I know first hand how hard they all worked to make this a festival that all could enjoy.
They all invested a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears, in addition to getting generous helpings of tongue lashings from people who for some reason, were moved to share their not-so-positive opinions in super-sized portions, but not moved enough to show up and be constructive in the regularly scheduled, publicly announced Prairie Days Planning Committee meetings. The invitations were always open.
I personally was so honored to have been entrusted with the planning of the softball tourney. We had a 12-team limit to make sure we could get all the games in on Friday and Saturday, and we filled every spot.
We appreciate the local participation more than any words can say. Local teams included the Prairie Market (winner of the beer drinking trophy), North Central Ambulance, Dodge House, One Eyed Willy’s, and Double A Limousine (tournament winner), with other teams out of Glencoe, Green Isle and Watertown.
I also appreciate Lester Prairie’s finest, Chief Bob Carlson, Mark Thiry, and Fire Chief Jim Hoof, for their help and flexibility when we had an unexpected scheduling issue. The City of Lester Prairie also allowed us to move two games to the baseball field so that the pyrotechnics crew could safely set up the fireworks show, which, by the way, was a fantastic show.
On a personal note, as some of you know, we’ve had two unexpected deaths in our family within a month of each other – the second of which was the Friday afternoon as we were setting up for Prairie Days.
My heart was broken, and my body ached to be with my family, but I had planned the whole tournament and didn’t think to come up with a backup plan in the event that I couldn’t be there. I did my best to compartmentalize my emotions. I especially appreciated my wonderful husband, Bob Bruins for being my rock and instinctively knowing when to jump in and help, or just let me walk away when I needed to.
I also appreciated our good friends, Chad Pichotta, for his support; and Dan Mathews, from the Gang Green team, for helping with the fields and his strong silent understanding of the situation; and the rest of the Gang Green Team for all of their emotional support.
Lastly, one more very important acknowledgement to Mark Thiry for his silent, nearby presence and understanding during our private family moments on Sunday. Yes, I saw you there as we left, and I thank you.
All in all, I think Prairie Days was a success and probably a work-in-progress as we all learned this year what could be done differently next year, should the organizers decide to put themselves through it again. I do suggest, to all who have negative feelings about the way some things were done or handled, please, instead of just griping about it . . . step forward next year and help make it better by participating and bringing your excellent solutions to the planning committee meetings.
Anybody can complain – complaining is free, and by its very nature, negative. Constructive criticism and helpful solutions are positive. If you’ve got some of that, I know there will be a chair at the table of each planning committee meeting for you.