Although negotiations for space the 2015 Marshall County Blueberry Festival wonâ€™t even begin until after this yearâ€™s festival has come and gone, steps towards long-planning continue. The 2014 festival will mark 48 years of holding the Labor Day weekend festival in Plymouth.
Representatives from the Blueberry Festival Board have reportedly looked at several alternative sites throughout the county as a â€śwhat-ifâ€ť back up in the event that the festival would move from Centennial Park in Plymouth.
Bob Brown, Blueberry Festival Board member, met with Argos Community Schools Interim Superintendent, Russ Mikel, two days prior to the Argos School Board meeting in July. According to Mikel, he was asked to make the school board aware of the possibility of moving the festival to Argos and the need to use the schoolâ€™s parking lots to accommodate parking. Mikel said he was asked if school would be closed the Friday prior to the festival, if they festival would move to Argos. If that day off would be a consideration, the school calendar would need to be altered for the 2015-2016 school year.
Mikel said, â€śI was asked to share with the Board to make them aware.â€ť
Brown and three other representatives of the Blueberry Festival Board also met with the Argos Utilities Superintendent, Jim Burroughs, and a town council member in July.
Burroughs said, â€śWe are running our water and waste water capacity at 48 percent now.â€ť He said the upgrades to the townâ€™s systems were put in place for any future industrial and/or residential growth in the community. A new water tower was erected in the town approximately 10-15 years ago that increased the water reserve from 75,000 galloons to 150,000 gallons, according to Burroughs. The waste water treatment facility was undated approximately 15 years ago.
Burroughs said the town has two sub-stations for electricity that they purchase from IMPA (Indiana Municipal Power Agency) and resell to local consumers. He said Banner Electric was also present with board members as they toured the area to speak to electric capacities.
Burroughs said he and his staff have a â€ścan doâ€ť attitudeâ€ť Referring to the townâ€™s utilities employees, Burroughs added, â€śWeâ€™ll make it work. I am proud and confident of their abilities.â€ť
Ultimately the Argos Park Board would be the entity to negotiate with the Blueberry Festival Board, the Argos School Board would have to approve school grounds/buildings related needs, and the Argos Town Council would have to address any street or roads concerns.
The current three-year between the Plymouth Park Board and the Blueberry Festival expires this year. Blueberry Festival Coordinator, Sherrie Martin, said no negotiations would be considered until after the 2014 festival.
The Blueberry Festival Board enters into separate agreements with some events at the festival such as the Old Wheels Antique Car Show and the Hot Air Balloon Glow, carnival rides, vendors, and others including of-site official parking at Plymouth High School and Riverside Intermediate School and the Moose tram service.
Carol Anders Correspondent