By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie Ambassador Program organizer Melissa Williams asked the city council Tuesday to move the annual Prairie Days celebration back a week, but the bigger question is whether or not there will be a celebration this year.
Williams said the celebration takes place the third weekend in July the same weekend as the Minneapolis Aquatennial, which prevents Lester Prairie ambassadors from participating in the Aquatennial.
She asked the council to consider moving the event to the fourth week in July.
Council Member Eric Angvall explained the Prairie Days celebration is not a city-sponsored event.
“You need to find a group or organization to take on the event,” Angvall said. He noted time is limited, because the council usually approves the final agenda by April.
Mayor Andy Heimerl agreed, saying it will require one person to take charge of organizing the event. He said planning for the 2012 event started the month after the 2011 Prairie Days celebration.
Heimerl also said bands may already be booked for July.
Heimerl explained, in the past, the event was organized by the Prairie Days Committee, which was made up primarily of members of the Lester Prairie Fire Department.
He said organizing the event takes much more than the two days of the celebration, and involves numerous meetings and many hours of work from many volunteers.
The Prairie Days Committee headed its last event in 2011.
Business owners Dan and Dawn LaMott stepped up and organized Prairie Days last year, but Williams said they told her they are not interested in running the celebration this year.
Williams asked it the city will help with the event this year, and donate the use of the shelter in the park for the event.
Heimerl said he supports the event, and will attend an organizational meeting if Williams sets it up.
The council approved allowing planning for Prairie Days to move forward, with the event to take place Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27.
Williams said even if the Prairie Days celebration does not take place this year, the Lester Prairie Ambassador Program will conduct a coronation Saturday, July 27.