On Sunday, June 8, Lakeview rededicated its new-and-improved community pool with a grand celebration the whole town could enjoy. There was barbecue, live music, giveaways, free cake, the Saturday Market folks out in full force and free swimming galore. While intended specifically as a party for the completion of the pool reconstruction, it was a near-perfect way to welcome both the end of the school year and start of summer for the entire community.
Witnessing the success of such a well-attended affair, a fruitful venture both in entertainment and fundraisers for 4th of July fireworks and the swim team, I can’t help but think that such an occasion is needed every year.
Granted, there won’t be a pool remodeling every year, but some form of a general communal gathering officially marking the start of summer and release of school shouldn’t just be a joyous day for students (and teachers) finally free of classrooms. Why not make it a fun event for everyone to enjoy?
Despite the population size of Lake County it astonishes me the amount of events, projects and fundraisers ever ongoing here. Surely there could be some new construction or accomplishment piggy-backed onto a larger-veiled communal celebration of summer’s beginnings. The pool is a great place to start, but certainly not the only option.
A new construction project or fundraiser is merely the McGuffin, a backdrop to use as an excuse to fire up the grills and break out the sun tan lotion. In an already overly friendly place, the social atmosphere on display at the pool rededication clearly brought a tight-knit community even closer together. A renewal of that togetherness seems in order in the finite window of early-to-mid June, before the summer months become consumed with vacations and jobs.
Such a positive experience for residents shouldn’t be a one-off thing, the benefits of creating an annual celebration should have been obvious for all those in attendance. Over $2,000 was raised by fire fighters to help fund the 4th of July fireworks, and the amount of barbecue sold went a long ways towards funding the swim team. At no time however did it feel like yet another fundraiser in what can seem like an endless string of causes no matter how noble, it was a happy and carefree event for all to enjoy with people choosing to happily contribute as an aside.
I can understand budgetary concerns or the burden of yet another big event to organize on top of those already slotted into a busy calendar of events, but considering the popularity and tremendous success of the pool rededication celebration it is a fairly obvious conclusion to consider doing it again. Like a good movie deserving of a sequel, Lakeview deserves a follow-up summer kick-off party in 2015.
True, there is no shortage of community celebrations, what between Irish Days and Labor Day and Daly Days and more, but even with the 4th of July event there are none that seem purposely designated to mark the official welcoming of summer. Maybe it’s time to change that.
Whether at the pool or some other designated locale, it’s time to start a new tradition, an annual Lakeview Summer Fest.
— Kurt Liedtke