When carnival doesn't come to town, community steps up
FULDA -- Things are going to be a little different at the Fulda Wood Duck Festival this year.
Usually, North St. Paul Avenue is lit by bright carnival rides on the Friday and Saturday nights of the festival. This year, though, things are going to be a little more old-fashioned.
The city of Fulda had a contract with a carnival company that was sold twice, and in April the current owner opted not to honor the deal. With only a few months until the festival, the community didn't have time to find another carnival company.
"It'll be a big change," said Dan Uttech, committee chairman. "We were one of the few festivals in the area that still had a carnival come."
Rather than be discouraged, the community pulled together and came up with a plan.
"We had to go back to an old-time festival," Uttech explained. "We asked community groups, church groups and school groups to provide entertainment for the kids and adults."
The committee received a good response from the community and has 15 different types of games that will be available.
"It caused a lot of people to step and dig up some new ideas," Uttech said. "If it goes over successfully, we might focus on this again."
"We want to invite everyone over Thursday through Saturday to participate in all the activities that the Community Club has come up with to take the place of the rides," Fulda City Administrator Michelle Baumhoefner added.
Local organizations will host food booths: St. Gabriel's Church will have five flavors of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream available; Murray County Hospice will make fresh smoothies; the Lions Club will have a food trailer offering mini-donuts and various deep fried foods; and the Long Branch will bring a taco truck to the festival.
"As in years past, the Boy Scouts and FFA will still have their food stands," Baumhoefner noted.
Games and food vendors on main street will be open until from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and from after the parade until 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
This year's Wood Duck Festival theme, "Woody Roars for the Lions' 50 years of Service," was chosen to honor the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Fulda Lions Club.