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Prairie Family Days 2009
Since 1995, Pleasant Prairie has hosted an annual Prairie Family Days festival. The event was originally created as a celebration and tournament to end the youth, summer sports season. Prairie Family Days is supported by generous donations from community sponsors. Over the years, it has grown into a three-day festival that offers family-centered activities, such as: youth sports tournaments, a 5K Walk/Run, the Princess Parade, food vendors, children’s games, inflatable attractions, a fishing derby, a police coloring contest, music, fireworks and more.

Though Family Days has been successful in covering expenses in past years, a weekend of heavy rain in 2007 and a slowing economy in 2008 had an impact on attendance and sponsorship. While planning for 2009, board and commission members, along with staff, agreed that Prairie Family Days should remain a budget neutral event that can be funded through sponsorships and donations. The Village Board and the Recreation Commission also agreed on the need for the formation of a citizen group that could “evaluate and plan for the evolution of Prairie Family Days.”

To provide a framework for the citizen group to work within, in December, the Village Board passed a resolution endorsing the family-centered focus of the event. Subsequently, on January 13, a mission statement for the festival was adopted by the Recreation Commission. You can find the mission statement below.

A citizen group be established to plan and organize Prairie Family Days. Prairie Family Days is an outdoor event utilizing the many features and amenities of Lake Andrea and Prairie Springs Park. The event is a youth- and family-oriented, late summer festival celebrating the end of the youth summer sports season. The event must include sporting tournaments and other family focused events. The event will be self-funding, securing sponsorships to cover the expenses of all activities. Final decision of dates, times, events and sponsorship will need the approval of the Recreation Commission.

During 2009, event planners are anticipating a decline in community sponsorships. In response to this expectation, planners for this year’s event will take a more conservative financial approach and get back to basics. One major cost-saving change slated for 2009 is the elimination of the pyromusical fireworks display. This change will save approximately $35,000 in expenses. Event planners are open to reintroducing the display should a sponsor step forward with funding in time. A sound system broadcasting across the event grounds will also be eliminated.

“Organizers are again aiming to create a self-sustainable event that offers a safe and fun environment where kids can run and have some fun, while their parents can breathe easy,” explained Mike Pollocoff, Village Administrator. “The focus of the event will remain good, old-fashioned, family fun.” In 2009, families can expect to find:

• youth sports tournaments
• a 5K Walk/Run
• Miss Prairie Family Days
• the Princess Parade
• food vendors
• children’s games
• inflatable attractions
• a fishing derby
• a police coloring contest
• beach games
• pontoon boat rides
• magic shows
• tours of fire engines
• a classic car show
• ice skating
• and more family favorites

Prairie Family Days will be held on August 1 and 2 this year. As the summer months draw near, you can find more details about the event on PleasantPrairieEvents.com.

You are invited to help plan for the future of Prairie Family Days. A citizen group will help form proposals for the evolution of the event that will be considered by both the Recreation Commission and Village Board. Organizers are seeking those who are interested in taking an active role in the future success of this family-oriented, community event.

If you would like to help plan for the future of Prairie Family Days, or if you would like more information about participating in the citizen group, you are asked to call 262/925-6735 or email mstratton@plprairie.com.

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