As this year’s Old Settlers Days President, I would like to thank everyone for coming to the festival and enjoying time with family and friends.
The past few years coming up through the positions of Old Settlers has definitely been an education. Coming into this organization I was curious as to how it was funded, and how it could be sustainable. Little did I know that not only does the festival fund itself, but every year we give back to the community in the form of grants to area organizations.
So many things have changed over the past decade or so in the way that people communicate, so over the past few years we have been trying to figure out new ways to get the word out about Old Settlers and to make it a place everyone can go and make some great memories. I would like to thank Robin Wright (2021 President) for getting the process started bringing special events back to the fair and Jeff Walker (2022 President) for getting the ball rolling on re-branding Old Settlers, so to speak. During Jeff’s year as president we brought in Blue River Digital to help us with marketing, communications and reorganizing our processes. We also added several new events under Jeff’s leadership.
The jobs of the vice-presidents and the president are the type of jobs that are as difficult and time consuming as you want to make them, and I am proud to have been a part of several teams that chose to spend the extra time and go the extra mile to help make Old Settlers Days better today and stronger for years to come. That being said, there is no way I could have done my job as president without a lot of help from my First Vice-President Linda Hyndman, who kept us going in the right direction and spent a lot of time getting things done and making the rest of us look better. Kim Wheeler was my Second Vice-President and he brought with him a lot of experience that helped us keep moving forward with improving our fair. He also set up the hot air balloon event on Friday night that was such a big hit. Jim Argerbright was this years incoming Vice President. Most incoming VP’s don’t do much other than observe the first year and enjoy the fair, but Jim got right in there with the rest of us and went to work getting things ready. Also, a big thanks to several past presidents who continue to serve and manage the fair.
Blue River Digital has been instrumental in straightening out and updating our Facebook page and website for the fair, as well as making our new logo, reorganizing and updating our forms and form storage, and with advertising and signage. They have been great to work with the past couple of years.
I would also like to thank our event coordinators and corporate sponsors that are too numerous to get started on here. You can find the information about them on our website or Facebook page, and hopefully that will remind you to support their businesses.
There are so many people who helped me through this process, and I am sorry I don’t have room to recognize everyone. I do want to recognize the person who helped me through this more than anyone, and that is my wife April Whetstone. Without her in my corner I could have never done it.
I’m looking forward to Old Settlers Days 2024, President Linda Hyndman, Kim, Jim and whoever is chosen to join them in the spring.
Chad Whetstone, 2023 Old Setters Days President