I’m starting this week’s column midway through the 57th Annual Water Festival here in Three Rivers. I’ve been involved with the Water Festival for at least five or six years now, so I feel that I know at least a little bit about what I’m talking about.
I’ve been co-chairing the parade for several years now, working with Pam Hughes. I think we make a pretty good team, which means that we don’t bother arguing about anything. It’s our responsibility to arrange the parade entries, making sure that the politicians don’t follow the St. Joe County Mounted Patrol, and that a senior citizen group doesn’t precede a marching band or anything else that might be overwhelming with noise. We also assist with the volunteers who assist with the parade lineup. We never have too many volunteers for anything involved with the Water Festival. If you’d like to be a volunteer for next year’s Water Festival, all you need to do is complain about this year’s.
The other side of the festival that I’m involved in is the Lions Club Ox Roast. Every year there are plenty of food vendors to choose from when it comes to satisfying your taste buds and hunger cravings. The Lions Club Ox Roast has been a huge part of the Water Festival for just about as long as the Water Festival has been in existence. This year was the 57th Annual Festival, so that amounts to plenty of ox roast sandwiches. The Ox Roast is the biggest fundraiser for the Lions, and it is from the money taken in that they are able to provide glasses and other services needed by the Three Rivers area and over 200 countries throughout the world.
Because of my involvement with Lions Club, I cannot really give much of a report on the Classic Car Show, KidZone, and the many other activities that make up Water Festival, but from what I’ve heard, there were plenty of things to do for everyone who decided that Three Rivers was the place to be for this last Fathers’ Day Weekend. It’s such a joy to see everyone enjoying and celebrating Three Rivers and all that it has to offer.
The Water Festival always wraps up with the Saturday evening main stage entertainment, followed by the fireworks. Mother Nature threw her monkey wrench into the Festival Machine and blessed us with some heavy rainfall starting around noon. The fireworks people and the Saturday evening entertainment decided to cancel the evening’s activities because of the threat of more rain. Fear not, because rumor has it that there will be fireworks and entertainment later this summer or early fall. Please look for information in this newspaper and other forms of media.
Kudos to the Three Rivers Police and Fire Departments for keeping us safe and law abiding. Thanks to the Department of Public Works for keeping the community clean. To the St. Joe County Sheriff’s Department, we applaud you for also keeping us safe and protected over the weekend. Very special thanks to Deb Herring, from the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, and all of her volunteers. Without each and every one of you, this festival would not exist. The Three Rivers community is very fortunate to have a group of people who give up so much of their time so that the rest of us can have some fun.
To wrap up the Fathers’ Day weekend, Dawn Patrol returned to the Three Rivers Airport. It was great to go out there and enjoy some pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice, and coffee. After breakfast, there were airplanes to look at, rides for the kids, and prizes to win. I was surprised to find out that the airport operations have changed. If you want to go for a ride in an airplane, Dawn Patrol is just about the only chance you have. As a kid, my Dad would take me out to the airport and pay $15 for someone to take me up for a twenty-minute ride. Pat Daugherty and I would ride our bikes out to the airport and sit in the flight operations office and read Flying magazines. Whenever an airplane would land or take off, we’d bound outside to witness the magic. Due to modern technology, there isn’t a flight operations office to visit. So much for progress, and thank God for the memories.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman