2.5k fun run/walk, beer tent added
The City of Vienna will be hosting its annual Spring Fling this weekend. The festival will be this weekend at the Vienna City Park.
The festivities will run Thursday and Friday from 5 to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday from 1 to 10:00 p.m.
Many new attractions have been added to this years event, including additional musical entertainment, more childrens activities, expanded vendor booths, fun run/walk and a beer tent.
The carnival rides will be located in the front parking lot, along with many new events for the young ones. Kids craft sessions and the Child ID program are on slate inside the depot at various times throughout the weekend.
A sure-to-be featured attraction will include chances to soak a school superintendent or a police officer, teacher or mayor in the dunking booth throughout the day Saturday.
A complete schedule of events, that includes many local talents, can be found on the back page of this issue.
The city park is now closed to vehicle traffic, in preparation for the Spring Fling, and remains closed to traffic throughout the weekend.
Junk in the trunk
One of the most talked about new events during the Spring Fling, is the Junk in the Trunk 2.5K (1.5 mile) Fun Run/Walk. The race will be held Saturday, May 19, beginning at 10 a.m.
More than 130 entries have already been received for this unique fitness adventure that includes food. All proceeds of the Junk in the Trunk will go towards Feed My Lambs Summer Food Lunch Program. The theme of the race is, “We’re not promoting good health, just a good time.”
Participants will be required, at their own pace, to make their way through the 2.5K route, that begins and ends, at the Vienna ball fields. However, during their adventure, they will be required to stop at each of the many food booths setup along the route to consume a variety of eatables.
Ten local restaurants/stores will have stations located at various points along the route, with samples of their products for registered race participants. BBQ, donuts, chips, breadsticks and horseshoes are just some of the snacks being offered.
Late registrations will be accepted prior to the start of the event at the ballpark.
Another addition to this years event is the somewhat-controversial addition of a beer tent.
At the April 18 regularly scheduled meeting, the Vienna city council voted to allow the Spring Fling Committee to operate a beer tent at the event.
After debate regarding beer at the citys Spring Fling festival, the motion carried by a majority vote in favor (4-ayes, 2-nays).
Those aldermen in favor of the beer at the festival cited the success of similar festivals with respect to the draw of crowds. Those aldermen who were opposed cited alcohol should not be part of the family festival.
The beer tent will be set apart from the childrens carnival and activities area, according to Vienna city clerk Virginia Monroe.
Monroe stresses that, it [the beer tent] will be closely monitored at all times.
Only legal adults, with proper identification, will be allowed within the enclosed area, and no one will be allowed outside the designated area with open alcohol, according to Monroe.
Armbands and tickets will be required at all times for the purchase of beer. There will be one way in, with proof of age, and one way out of the designated area. Monroe said the majority of elected city officials will be on site during the festival this year, to monitor the response of the beer tent. Some council members will be selling tickets, while others will be checking IDs, she said.
“We’ve arranged with local law enforcement to keep close watch on responsible consumption,” the clerk said. “It is up to those persons who wish to purchase a beer to act responsibly.”
The clerk said if the police have concerns of a person not acting responsibly, they will either make arrangements to get that person home safely or issue expensive violations. She also stated that the city of Vienna and the Spring Fling committee reserves the right to refuse beer sales to anyone.
Vienna mayor Jon Simmons supports the growth of the festival and the visibility of the City of Vienna.
“We have one of the best city parks in Southern Illinois… It’s time we start using it more for the growth of our city,” he said. “The majority of successful festivals, that draw huge numbers of people from across the region to their communities, offer a beer tent. That does not mean just because it’s a community-sponsored event that law breakers are exempted from the consequences,” he said.
It is up to those who choose to consume alcohol to have a trusted designated driver at their side at all times.
“Our city officials will be monitoring the alcohol consumption and respond, if required, to it very quickly, and to make any necessary adjustments immediately,” said the mayor.
Monroe would like to extend thanks, on behalf of the city, to the volunteers that have worked to make the upcoming event a success.
“Elected officials, city employees and the citizens of Vienna have stepped up, and are willing to volunteer to help make this year’s Spring Fling a success. We thank each of them,” said Monroe.
As in years past, with the exception of the fun run/walk, all proceeds of this years Spring Fling will be added to the citys community fund. Monroe said the proceeds are earmarked for a specific cause, it does not go into the general fund, it goes into the community fund.
The city’s community fund, established many years ago, is used to improve the citys appearance, according to the clerk. She said expenses of flowers, flower planters, and over-all beautification of the city, come from those funds.