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Worth it

Worth it Worth it

Brian Wilson

There are few things more nerve-wracking than being a community event organizer in the hour or so before an event is set to start.

Leading up to any event there is plenty to do to keep your mind, and hands, busy. There is the work of lining up a venue, getting needed permits, booking talent, checking with potential vendors, seeking sponsors and developing and implementing a marketing plan.

If you are part of a great committee and have committed volunteers, these things come together like clockwork. As the day of the event draws closer there is also a lot of work in making sure things are in place and on the day of an event, putting in the hours to make sure everything is set up.

Depending on the size of the event, it might be setting up a single refreshment booth or station. In a larger event, it might mean coordinating between multiple organizations and businesses who sometimes may be at odds with one another.

Whether your event budget is in the tens of dollars or the tens of thousands of dollars, there comes a moment of calm prior to when the gates open, when all the sound checks have been completed, and the beer is chilled and in the coolers.

It is at this moment of outward calm that your mind clicks on overdrive and you begin to sneak looks at your watch, with one eye out on the main gate and parking lot. The seconds drag out as you find yourself checking your watch for the 55th time in the past two minutes and checking your phone to see if there was some regional or national alert that is keeping people at home.

Your mind kicks in overdrive as you worry about no one showing up and what you are going to do with all the supplies you have or the case of t-shirts and merchandise. You think of all the time and energy you and other committee members have put into bringing an event to this point and you wonder if it was worth it and how could you face them if no one showed up. You question if you have time to sneak home and pack a bag before anyone noticed you were gone and start a life as a vagabond drifter wallowing in your personal shame for crashing the budget of your service organization.

As the clock hands inch closer toward the starting hour, you see a car pull into the parking lot, followed by another and another. It is that moment that you remember you are in Taylor County, the place where people will talk about going to do something for months in advance and then wait to buy their tickets for it at the door, because, after all, some better option could come up.

Taylor County is the kind of place where people don’t leave the house for their own funeral until the church bells start to chime.

Even knowing this, there is the persistent worry that you might be throwing a party that no one wants to attend.

I was thinking about this last Thursday night as I was standing with other committee members before the start of the 2024 Medford Kiwanis Club Summer Concert Series at the Tombstone Bandshell in the Medford City Park.

The concerts are held every Thursday night in the park with the music starting at 7 p.m. It has been really interesting to be part of the group organizing and planning the series and I am really looking forward to the mix of performers and styles that will take to the stage.

Helping to organize a community event can be a terrifying experience, but in the end when you see smiling faces and people visiting and having a good time, it is all worth it.

Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News. Contact Brian at