City of Marshfield Parks & Recreation Helps at Dairyfest
With many of the Dairyfest festivities taking place in City parks, the Marshfield Parks & Recreation Department is fundamental to the success of the events each year.
“Many of the sites are on park property, starting at the Fairgrounds,” said Ben Steinbach, Parks & Recreation Supervisor. “The Mayor’s Breakfast is in the Expo Building. Family Fun Day is at Fairgrounds Park, which includes the entire park. There’s a softball tournament, activities in the Junior Fair Expo building, and a tent that is set up on the property.”
At Wildwood Park, there is a fishing contest. Activity at Columbia Park includes Picnic in the Park, Movie in the Park, and a Vox Concert. Across town at Braem Park, there is a disc golf tournament and a competition at the Marshfield Skate Park. Jack Hackmann Field hosts a Chaparral game.
With most of the these events, Parks & Recreation staff assist with setup and takedown. For example, with the Dairfyest Parade, staff prepares trash receptacles prior to the event and then picks them up afterwards. At the Governor Upham House (Upham Mansion), staff provides picnic tables and trash receptacles for the Pie & Ice Cream Social.
Along with these types of jobs, staff is also responsible for preparing the grounds for the crowds.
“Being that we have so many things at our facilities, it takes the park staff approximately five days to prepare for Dairyfest,” said Steinbach. “That would entail the work of staff and contractors to make sure everything is mowed and trimmed and ready.”
Staff clean landscape beds, add mulch in highly-visible areas, trim the upper pond for the fishing contests, power wash shelters, clean picnic tables, prepare the Columbia Park bandshell, tend to picnic tables and park benches, and inspect and clean restrooms.
“It’s three days of actual preparing, with Thursday being setup for the Mayor’s Breakfast,” said Steinbach. “We get ice cream, strawberries, and the refrigerator truck comes in so we stock that. We work with Amy Krogman with the Mayor’s Office. She coordinates and then we assist her.”
Friday involves preparing the rest of the Fairgrounds for activities. Throughout the weekend, staff cleans Columbia Park between events. With Hefko Pool opening for the season, staff is also busy there.
“Pretty typical stuff for a weekend,” said Steinbach. “We’re setting the stage, providing the platform for the events. Unless things go wrong, it’s a pretty typical weekend.”
Come Monday and Tuesday, staff are busy with takedown- cleaning, putting away barricades, and other cleanup tasks.
“All together, I would say roughly 80% of staff time and resources (meaning equipment) is dedicated for ten days to Dairyfest,” said Steinbach. “In my opinion, it’s been a good move to the fairgrounds. It’s helped consolidate some of the workload.”
Though a huge undertaking for the Parks & Recreation Department, Steinbach feels Dairyfest is well worth the effort involved.
“It’s an endeavor, but it’s worth the investment. It’s a kickoff to the summer; It’s the first big event. It makes the town hop,” he said. “Every town has their event and I would say Dairyfest in Marshfield is our big event. I would consider Dairyfest as Marshfield’s Premier festival.”
“Come out enjoy the parks and be outside and be active,” he said.