Pepper Fest gives back to the communityPepper Fest, the little community festival that could, held its annual allocation banquet Saturday night, Nov. 5 at the Willow River Inn.
By: Margaret Ontl, Hudson Star-Observer
Pepper Fest, the little community festival that could, held its annual allocation banquet Saturday night, Nov. 5 at the Willow River Inn. The three day North Hudson Festival set a record this year for the highest gross revenue, bringing in $135,000. At the banquet $30,000 was returned to the community.
“The last couple of years have been tough,” said Pepper Fest Board of Director’s President Dan Barber. “In the end it is a group of friends that get the job done, towards a common end.”
This year each group receiving funds was asked to describe their organization and what the funds would be used for.
There are three ways to earn money from Pepper Fest. The first is to be a working group. Each working group earns $250 per day. This year they also earned a $50 per day bonus. Jobs include garbage detail, working the north or south gate, parade assistance, park clean-up, main ticket booth, ticket counting, merchandise table, foot race assistance and emergency response.
Profit shared groups is the second way to earn money for the festival. The groups’ earned income is based on ticket sales plus a $50 bonus for each shift worked. These groups include the food and bingo venues.
The third and final way is to apply for a grant. All grant requests must be mailed in prior to the festival. This year six organizations earned seven grants.
Carol McConaughey, Hudson Area Seniors, described their activities.
“We schedule 34 people to work the queen’s breakfast and every shift for the entire event,” said McConaughey. “Then we call everyone we can think up to make bars and cookies. Lastly a Swede, a German, a Norwegian and a Polack get together to make Italian cookies.” Each year they make 400 pizzelles.
Tim Shafer of the Knights of Columbus commented that working at the Pepper Fest was one of the highlights for his group.
“I have people asking me for the sign-up sheet,” said Shafer.
Barber also presented Becky Lyksett with the annual Dan O’Connell Award. The award was first given out in 2003 in honor of Dan who was an avid supporter of Pepper Fest and a Pepper King at one time.