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Volunteers: Save town tradition

The Laurel Festival is a longstanding Winsted town tradition. This year, the Laurel Ball will be held on June 9 at Crystal Peak Ballroom, while on June 11, the Laurel Parade will be on Main Street.

The tradition of the Laurel Festival, along with crowning a Laurel Queen, dates back to 1934, while the new tradition of crowning a Laurel King started last year.

As per tradition, the all-volunteer Laurel City Commission is organizing the festival.

While the commission typically has up to 19 members on it according to member Holly Cassaday, so far this year there are only two members: Cassaday and Michelle Hintz.

This is quite troubling considering that the festival is only three months away and there are only two people on the commission volunteering and planning out a major townwide event that encompasses two days, many pageant contestants and parade floats.

There are also various elements in planning a festival, including promotion, communication, putting together and organizing groups of people.

While it is great to see both Cassaday and Hintz up for these tasks, it is also a huge burden for just two people to shoulder when there are typically up to 19 people working together as a group to put the festival together.

The Laurel Festival is more than just a town tradition where pageant contestants compete with each other and a parade goes down Main Street; it is also a time for the town to celebrate itself: the character and personalities of Winsted, it’s people and who they are.

The Laurel Ball and Parade were both cancelled in 2014, but they were brought back in 2015.

It would be a real shame for the festival, as a whole, to be cancelled due to a lack of volunteers on the Laurel City Commission.

That’s why we are hopeful that there are readers out there who will step forward to help Cassaday and Hintz to organize the festival.

For more information on the commission, email Cassaday at hollycassaday216@gmail.com.