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Round Lake cancels its Sun and Fun Day

ROUND LAKE -- There won't be a parade, a street dance or games in the park, but Round Lake will still be hopping Saturday when it hosts a stop on the KICD-sponsored tractor ride through Jackson County.

The Round Lake Community Club has cancelled this year's Sun & Fun Day due to a lack of volunteers to help organize the one-day event. Instead, local church youth group members, senior citizens and the Legion will serve food to some 250 people coming to town on the tractor ride. The public is invited to see the tractors and enjoy bratwurst and other food items from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Denise Kennedy, president of the Round Lake Community Club, is hoping the absence of a festival this year will help generate interest among local citizens so that a bigger and better Sun and Fun Day celebration can return next year for the town's 120th anniversary.

"We really want to have Sun and Fun Day again, but we really need people to get involved," Kennedy said on Monday. Community Club meetings conducted to plan the annual festival are poorly attended, and generally it's the older members who come. Kennedy said those older volunteers just can't organize an event by themselves.

"We can't get the younger people to join in," Kennedy said, adding that there is also some misinformation that community club members must live in Round Lake. The club is open to anyone, whether they live in town or in the country, she said.

Planning a community festival takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work, from collecting donations from area businesses to mapping out the parade route, mailing out fliers to parade participants and finding people to work the day of the event. Kennedy said if they had more people to split up the work, the event would be easier to plan.

With the community club's decision to cancel the parade, games in the park and raffle this year, the Round Lake Fire Department opted not to book a band for the street dance it traditionally hosts the evening of Sun and Fun Day. Kennedy said because there are a lot of events competing for people this weekend, the fire department may host a street dance later this summer.

Last year, Sun and Fun Day added new activities, including bed races and toilet races. Turn-out for those events was disappointing, but Kennedy said with better organization, they could be a success.

If the town isn't able to revive Sun & Fun Day on its own again, Kennedy said the committee has talked about working with another small town, such as Brewster or Okabena, to develop a town festival that would rotate between the communities each year.

"If the towns can work together, too, it would be a good thing," she added.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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