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Fun Fest draws crowds

Members of THE DWEEBS rock a full house Friday night at Fun Fest in New Richmond (Photo by Tom Lindfors)1 / 54
Several youngsters were interested in the classic cars at the New Richmond Youth Hockey Association's Classic Car Show on Saturday, July 13. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)2 / 54
Grand Marshal Vernon Conrad waves to the crowd as he makes his way through the parade route. He's driven by Rich Gregerson, a long-time friend of Conrad's. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)3 / 54
New Richmond High School's Marching Tigers was one of three bands to participate in the annual Fun Fest Parade. Pictured above is the drumline. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)4 / 54
New Richmond's United Methodist Church hosted a very popular pie and ice cream social during the Fun Fest activities. Volunteers said it was hard to keep up with the crowd at times. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)5 / 54
Christman Amusements Carnival rides provided entertainment for young and old alike. Pictured above, two young boys enjoyed their ride on the kiddie cars. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)6 / 54
Screams and squeals could be heard throughout the Fun Fest carnival near The Scrambler. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)7 / 54
Hannah Westmoreland audtions for a spot on the New Richmond Fire Department during the Children's Water Competition hosted by the New Richmond Fire Department as part of Fun Fest on Saturday (Photo by Tom Lindfors)8 / 54
Three-year-old, Olivia Lee, pedals over the finish line during the Pedal Tractor Pull at Fun Fest in New Richmond (Photo by Tom Lindfors)9 / 54
Members of the New Richmond Fire Department compete in a early round of the Water Battle the Department hosted as part of Fun Fest on Saturday (Photo by Tom Lindfors)10 / 54
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This year's Fun Fest was the first Lisa Woletz has planned and she said it's only going to get bigger and better from here.

Woletz, who recently took over as director of the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce, said perfect weather and great crowds made this year's Fun Fest an outstanding event.

The festival, which was held July 11-14, drew average crowds, Woletz said.

"Our bands Friday and Saturday night have been with us for a long time and always draw in great crowds," she said. "The addition of Tim Sigler on Thursday night was really well received. Country night was really popular."

It's unclear whether the 2014 event will offer a country night, but Woletz said the idea will be discussed again.

Saturday's parade was 72 units long, said Woletz.

"We're currently in the process of rebuilding the Fun Fest parade back to what New Richmond is used to," she said. "We're very grateful to Osceola and the two New Richmond bands for participating."

Woletz said the Fun Fest committee has assigned one person to focus specifically on recruiting bands for the New Richmond parade.

In addition to the parade, Woletz said the amusement park was always busy, the car show was great and the pedal tractor pull attracted more than 100 kids.

"Overall it was a terrific week," she said.

Woletz said Fun Fest's success should be credited to the hundreds of volunteer who put it together.

"It takes a village to put together an event like this and the community really came out to support it," she said.

Soon, plans will begin to take shape for the 2014 event.

"We'll be reviewing this year's Fun Fest and those from the past and we're always looking to bring in new acts," she said. "It's always evolving and we're working to make it bigger and better each year."

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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