In July 10-16 issueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal ReporterABOVE: Thousands crowded into Jamestown's Memorial Square to watch the fireworks display Saturday night, July 5. This photo is a capture from the Russell County News web cam that broadcast images of Lakefest world-wide during its entire run.
JAMESTOWN - With Lakefest over and Monument Square cleaned up, business in the city is back to normal this week, according to Councilwoman and Lakefest Chair Marcelene Taylor.
The four-day event began last Wednesday, July 2, with what she said was a well-attended prayer service and singing. It lasted through Saturday night's free concert by the group Confederate Railroad and a fireworks display.
"I believe we had the largest crowd on Saturday that I can remember," Taylor said. She said an exact head count for Saturday night's festivities was unclear but that she believed the concert crowd to be among the biggest ever.
"I believe many people came every night and it went very smoothly," she said. Taylor said she was extremely pleased that the Lakefest committee, along with the city of Jamestown, was able to honor several "Hometown Heroes" for their service to the event and to Jamestown over the years.
Those honored were Jerry Reeder, Janet Wilkerson, Jamestown Police Chief Mike Keaton and both the late Mike Hill and Mae Hoover.
"It was nice giving these people the proper tributes they deserved," she said.
Taylor did note that there were fewer vendors at this year's event, partly due to the high gasoline prices, but also because of many other Independence Day festivals going on with the fourth on a Friday, she said.
"There were a few open spots but overall we had plenty of food vendors," she said. "I know that a lot of people just come for the food and we had their wants covered."
Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates also said this year's Lakefest was a success. Bates said he wished to thank all the city employees and volunteers who helped to make the festivities fun for everyone.
The talent show, coordinated by Taylor, and lip sync competition, coordinated by Rita Kemp, also went unscathed, Taylor said. The baby and beauty pageants also were a success, she said. They were managed by Jenny Chapman.
Kylie Haydon was crowned Miss Lakefest on Friday evening with Emily Wesley being named 1st runner-up while Riann Templin was selected as 2nd runner-up.
Taylor commended Dr. James Monin, Willard Carnes and Jeff Reeder for their roles in making this year's Lakefest a successful one as well.
Dr. Monin was in charge of the antique car display and parade, Carnes was head of the antique tractor show and parade and Reeder, along with 20 other volunteers, were in charge of the Mike Hill 10K run.
"It was all very well organized and each event was heavily attended," she said. Sixty runners participated in the 10K run with Wyatt Self of Indiana winning race. Katie Feldhaus was the first female to cross the line several minutes later.
The Lakefest Golf Scramble, a 18-hole best ball tournament which helps to fund much of the activities, was held Saturday, too. Sixteen teams aimed for victory with the winning team being comprised of Rob Bertram, Jeff Cook, David Turner and Brandon Selby.
"We were really pleased with our golf scramble," Taylor said. She said the exact amount of money raised was still being figured but said it would go a long way toward paying off Saturday night's Confederate Railroad concert. To book the award-winning country music group, Taylor said it took in the neighborhood of $14,000 to $15,000.
"Confederate Railroad is one of the nicest groups we've ever had here," she said. "They were very cordial and we enjoyed having them."
To be fully funded, Taylor said the event takes donations from folks to keep it going.
"The city pays for some of it but we continually need the support of others in the community to keep this a success," she said.
Taylor said it took around $4,000 to put on Saturday night's fireworks display, which were set off from a new location this year, Jamestown Elementary's parking lot.
"It was a good show," Taylor said. "It went really well and it turns out they were very visible from the square."
Taylor, who is in her second year as Lakefest chairperson, said she sometimes stressed with the festivities but that with the help of so many volunteers and city employees everything worked out.
"Everyone was super. The staff at city hall and all of the employees and Mayor (Brooks) Bates and especially our police force," she said.
Jamestown Police Chief Mike Keaton said his department made one Lakefest-related arrest, an alcohol intoxication.
"I've attended quite a number of these things and we had one of the largest crowds that I've seen in quite some time," he said. "Everybody seemed to be very orderly."
He said his department received one missing child report, but that was quickly resolved when Jamestown volunteer fireman Mike Rush found the nine-year-old boy.
During the most-attended part of the event after 7 p.m. on Saturday night, Keaton said he had four officers on duty patrolling the area.
Keaton lauded the department's new Kawasaki "Mule" vehicle, which was heavily used during the event.
"That's going to be a good tool," he said. "It save a lot (of fuel)."
Taylor said with the upcoming construction of the new Judicial Center on the northeast section of the square, next year's festivities could be moved to a new location on the square, possibly in front of the courthouse.
"We've talked with Judge Executive (Mickey) Garner and that looks like it is a possibility," she said. Rick Mann has also offered for the space in front of his building to be used for Lakefest as well, she said.
If the event is forced completely from the square, reports in the community have the Jamestown City Park as a possible destination.
"We've already started planning for next year's Lakefest," she said. "It is a year-long process but we'll be ready," she said, wherever the event is held.