During Rivertown Days, the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce got the usual note from an upset resident. The resident wondered why he had to spend $3 to go spend money on fair food.
In other words, he didn’t agree with having to buy a button to gain access to Jaycee Park.
Sorry, but we think that Rivertown Days is well worth the $3 price of admission.
The money from button sales goes to fund the fireworks display. Did you know that it costs the chamber $13,000 for the fireworks every year?
That means 4,333 people need to buy buttons just for the chamber to break even on the fireworks.
Sure, if your only mission is to walk to the riverfront and eat cheese curds, Rivertown Days is going to be an expensive proposition. But for every person like that, there are thousands who watch cyclists fly through the air, look on as dogs apprehend suspects during demonstrations and enjoy live music from well-known acts.
If you don’t think it is worth $3 to watch Rocket Club on a beautiful Saturday night with the Mississippi River on your right ... well ... you’re always going to be disappointed with Rivertown Days.
That $3 goes a long way. Later Saturday night, the price to get in to watch the band at Dugarel’s was $7, which certainly seemed fair.
Why, then, is it not acceptable for the chamber to charge $3 to get into Rivertown Days?
Now, on to another point regarding Rivertown Days: If you or the business you work for have a great idea for a new event, you can easily make it happen with a little work.
We hear all the time, “Why isn’t there a (insert your idea here) event at Rivertown Days?”
The answer? Because each event takes people and money. Things like the Dock Dogs returned this year because businesses ponied up and sponsored it.
The same thing can be said for the pedal tractor pull.
Churches have stepped up and had events, like River of Life’s insanely popular and insanely inexpensive 10-cent carnival.
So, if you want Rivertown Days to be better, all you have to do is call the Chamber, tell them your plan and then make it happen both with the staff and the funds.
We applaud the chamber and all of its volunteers for this year’s Rivertown Days. Job well done.