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Canoe Fest dealing with issues
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DARLINGTON—The Darlington Canoe Festival Committee was fighting through some issues at their meeting Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The festival dates are June 8 - 11, 2017.
    Spectrum Carnival informed the committee in March that they would not be coming to this years Canoe Fest. The company cited not enough sales. Bounce houses were mentioned as a replacement. The Canoe Fest committee formed a sub-committee to look for a new carnival or replacement entertainment. A special meeting was scheduled for the first week in April.
    The band Madison County will perform inside a large tent at the Festival Grounds instead of on Main Street like last year. The tent will ensure a dry area for the show. The show will take place Friday, June 9.  The Darlington Fire Dept. will take care of the set-up and tear-down.
    Something new – Pedal Tractor Pull, for ages 4 – 12, three winners in each age group. The company takes care of everything. Winners would be eligible to participate in the State Pedal Pull. Looking at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, location to be determined. The committee approved the pull.
    Softball Tournament – The Darlington Lions announced that no softball games will be taking place during Canoe Fest this year, due to dwindling numbers of teams that participate. The Lions concession stand will be offered to other local organizations. The Lions will still run the Kenny Parr Cook-Off in Piggly Wiggly parking lot.
    Parade – Amber Wilson, parade chair, has sent letters out to perspective entries. The Echoes of Camp Randall (the Badgers); the Stilt Walkers; the Colts have all confirmed for this years parade. Wilson is looking at costume characters to dress up to be in the parade.
    Cruise on Main Street - Chamber president Angie Thuli told the group that things are moving ahead. The laps will tentatively be from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Discussed staging the cars and parking the cars, like a car show, at the Festival Grounds or Piggly Wiggly parking lot. Root beer floats will be served at the Chamber office. The Cruise is still in planning stages, so final plans could change.
    Darlington Idol will be held at Bridges Restaurant April 22, 2017. A worker sign up sheet was passed out.
    The Canoe Fest Reps is the new name for Canoe Fest Princesses this year. The 2017 Reps are Ryley Lancaster, Francesca Morrone, Alyssa Tuescher and Lacie Smith. Candi Fitzsimons reported that the candidates are enthusiastic and ready to go.
    Approved a tent bid from Bel-Aire Rentals of Dubuque for $1,880. The tent will be a 40’ x 120’, it will include sides and will be up for the entire weekend.
    Chicken Barbeque – The Boy Scouts may not be having the barbeque. It has not been confirmed and the committee will be finding out for sure. It was mentioned that they may partner up with other Boy Scout troops from other towns.
    A motion was made to allow any food venders to set up during Canoe Fest weekend for a special fee of $100. This is a one year offer. Motion approved.
    Portable bathrooms – the committee approved a contract with Jeff Monson of Monson Septic Pumping  & Portable Restrooms for $1,266.
    Discussed posters; advertising; sound systems and Facebook.