From the Morris Chamber of Commerce
The Morris Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the community for the support and attendance at Prairie Pioneer Day! We had beautiful weather, fun activities, delicious food, and many unique craft vendors.
It was also a special time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Morris with memorabilia and vintage items on display. The city provided a festive firework show that wrapped up a wonderful day.
Prairie Pioneer Day has always been a committee led event. It started years ago and was held in July but run by another organization. It was given to the Chamber when that organization could no longer commit to the planning. The Chamber was meant to be an interim host while a community committee could be formed or another organization stepped up to host.
As the Chamber board reflects on the success of the event, we also look at areas for improvement and as always, look at our mission to ensure our work is meeting those guidelines.
The mission of the Chamber is to provide support and resources to promote our area communities through membership. While the event does promote our area and serves a small portion of our members, we believe the Chamber’s role should be to support the efforts of a community-led committee.
The amount of time the board and staff put into the Prairie Pioneer Day event takes away from the resources and support we can provide our members. The board’s goal is to focus on being a resource to our members through educational classes, networking opportunities, and to continue promoting shopping locally.
The board needs to find an organization that will lead the efforts in Prairie Pioneer Day planning or a group of community members willing to volunteer on the planning committee. The chamber director will continue to serve on the committee for an interim period to help with the transition. Historically the planning committee work has been put into 5 subcommittees: parade, craft vendors, food stands, activities, advertising.
The local Lion’s club is extremely helpful in the parade line up. The sub committee organizes the parade registration, applies for road closure permits with local police and MNDOT, and communicates with the Lion’s club and parade participants.
The subcommittees for both food stands and craft vendors creates and distributes registration letter and form, arranges rental of Lee Center, communicates with participants, organizes layout, marks spaces day before, meets participants for set up, cleans up after event.
The activities subcommittee works with the Stevens County Fair Board to coordinate the event date and use of space, coordinates time and location of all activities with various organizations, lines up garbage delivery and bathroom rental.
The advertising and PR committee creates an event poster, makes a Facebook event and Facebook ads, designs and coordinates newspaper ads, communicates schedule for website updates, distributes posters, coordinates radio advertising, promotes event on Community Connection, shares information with Morris Tourism to promote.
If you or your organization is interested in leading the efforts of Prairie Pioneer Day or serving on the planning committee, please contact the Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 589-1242 by the end of October.