Organizers of Parkfest celebration deserve thanks and praise
That single word best describes the 2021 Parkfest celebration hosted by the Medford Area Chamber of Commerce on August 19.
The event drew a crowd estimated at more than 3,000 people to the Medford City Park for a day of fun, food and music. The event was started several years ago as a way to have the summer season go out with a bang and to highlight the city’s impressive park system. Each year it has grown, and after taking a hiatus last year due to COVID-19, organizers, led by chamber president Sue Emmerich, wanted to make sure 2021’s event was something to remember.
Pieces fell into place as they were able to book performer Chris Kroeze to headline the event. Then came the long months and hard work of securing sponsors to help make it accessible to area residents and planning everything from securing a stage to mapping out where food vendors could set up.
The list of individuals, businesses and organizations that came together to make the event possible is a long one and all of them deserve the community’s thanks and applause for a job well done.
While there are those who were critical of planning a major public event at a time when there are ongoing concerns with the pandemic, committee members worked to balance concerns and ensure that the outdoor event was run in a safe manner. Even with the crowds, the spacious park made it possible to enjoy the show without being on top of each other.
A key component to the event’s success was the active partnership role the city of Medford and its staff took in the event. A prime example of this was city coordinator Joe Harris working that afternoon hauling extension cords and working to meet the needs of the vendors who were setting up their food stands. Harris was not alone, as throughout the planning for the event the city worked to remove barriers rather than erect them. For those who have had experience in running events in the city in the past, this is a refreshing change of pace and hopefully will ease the way toward hosting other events in the city in the future.
Events such as Parkfest bring with them a sizable economic impact. It gave people a reason to come to the city and while here visitors spent money, giving retail and restaurants an economic boost. Events can also serve an important role in attracting residents to the community and showing that the community has plenty to offer.
Parkfest 2021 was a defining event for the community and provided a firm foundation to build future events in coming years. This success was the result of long hours of hard work and all those involved deserve the community’s thanks and praise.