“The general consensus is that the community wants a celebration, and they are willing to put one together. Now we just have to decide what it will look like,” said Baldwin Village Administrator/Clerk Tracy Carlson regarding a Town Celebration meeting held August 15. Though no official decisions were made at that meeting, the gathering was well attended by citizens, local businesses and local governments all of which had their own opinions on what the “town celebration” would involve.
“One person made the comment that we have to decide what to call it,” added Carlson. Starting in 1983 with the title of “Let’s Go Dutch Days”, the town celebration changed names with the change of committee in 2005.
That committee responsible for organizing the celebration under the current title of June Bug Days has effectively decided to step down after 14 years of planning, orchestrating and providing the community with a great event. With that, many are wondering who will fill those shoes, let alone if this celebration will be “June Bug Days” at all.
“We said the first thing they’re going to do is change the name,” said former head of the June Bug Days Committee, Jon Zevenbergen, “we always laugh about it because all it’s really meant to do is to make somebody say, ‘what the heck is that?’ and come see what it’s all about.”
Zevenbergen and the Committee have worked through years of trial and error to keep the Baldwin town celebration going. After stepping down from that position, they are supportive and optimistic that the tradition will remain strong. “We’re all excited to see what they come up with,” he says, “and if they need anything, we’re glad to help.”
During the meeting on August 15, a lot of conversation was made about what the celebration could be called, what events could be there and many other topics. However, because the celebration is such a blank slate currently, it was difficult to decide who would be running the event with the previous committee gone.
“It got to a point where people said, ‘alright, enough talking, who is going to do this?’” said Baldwin-Woodville Chamber of Commerce President, Justin Nygaard. The overall idea that came from the meeting was to form a larger committee with branching, smaller subcommittees that would be responsible for individual aspects of the celebration. “Maybe the Fire Department could take care of the bands, maybe the Chamber can organize the parade,” said Carlson as an example, “then we could appoint someone from each subcommittee to form the larger committee.”
It is important to clarify that no firm decisions have been made as a result of this meeting. However, the amount of public interest from the initial gathering has prompted the need for a second meeting to be held at the Baldwin Municipal Center, August 27 at 6:00 p.m. where more concrete decisions are expected.
“You just have to do your best, and you have to love it. That’s what it comes down to.” Says Zevenbergen for the next committee, “You’re not going to make everyone happy. You’re going to make mistakes, but as long as you make it fun and you love it, it’ll all be okay.”
The 2019 June Bug Days parade may be the last time the June Bug will make its way down Main Street. A different name and a new committee were discussed at the Town Celebration meeting held on August 15. The next meeting will be held on August 27.