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Council could put kibosh on Blast from the Past

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Members of the Bainbridge Town Council hold the future of Friends of the Park's Blast from the Past Festival in its hands.

Event coordinator Dianna Gorrell asked council members for their approval to move the annual festival from June to October.

The eighth annual Blast from the Past Festival opened at the Bainbridge Community Center last weekend. For the second year in a row, the event had disappointing results.

"Six vendors didn't come due to the death of a local student and on Saturday, nine left early. We didn't realize there was a big baseball event going on in the park," explained Gorrell.

"We need to move it from June to October. The Indiana State Festival Association suggested setting up during the Covered Bridge Festival. They think we would do really well during that time," said Gorrell.

She told council members vendors could be set up for the whole 10 days or just during weekends. Non-profit organizations and schools don't have to pay for space at the event and Gorrell hoped to pull some of them in for the October date.

The two-day Blast from the Past is the main fundraiser for Friends of the Park in Roachdale, Bainbridge and Russellville and helps support the Summer Fun in the Sun program in local parks.

Proceeds from the show also help fund the Summer Lunch Bunch Program, field trips, Red Ribbon Week and the End of Summer Luau for kids.

Town Council President Richard Cope told Gorrell he would like to talk to some people before the council makes a decision.

"I hate to answer right now. If Bonnie and Naomi agree, I'll make the decision on this. I'll talk to some more people and get back to you quickly," he told Gorrell.

"It all depends on you guys keeping us afloat or not," said Gorrell.

Friends of the Park was formed in June 2003. Dianna Gorrell and Dana Alerding, wives of two of the Russellville park board members, set up the organization to help offset funds for the park board.

In December 2003, a newly appointed town council revised their codebook and abolished the park board. Friends of the Park decided to move forward and serve the community by promoting festivals and events at the Russellville Community Park.

A board was formed and officers were elected. They developed by-laws and articles of organization and filed for not-for-profit status. The organization does not have a membership fee and is made up of volunteers.

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If I remember right, back when I was younger they used to have vendors and people of the sort set up during the covered bridge festival....always wondered why they stopped that in the first place.

-- Posted by customtaco on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 4:32 AM

they stopped it because it was considered to trash for the town image

-- Posted by turttlelady on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 7:40 AM

It could be pretty trashy if they set up for the whole 10 days and I doubt people would be stopping that much if on their way to or from the Covered Bridge festival. I don't think a 2 day weekend set up would be bad but for the whole 10 days... Seems like a waste to me. There is always something going on at the community building and before long, people won't even be paying attention if there's something there every day...

-- Posted by bannerstuff on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 9:35 AM

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