Bring our BBQ festival back

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

To the Editor:

I agree that Polk County needs to get our BBQ Festival back. I believe its critical for our county.

In fact, the BBQ Festival has become a family reunion for many. In fact, when everyone comes in for the festival they usually stay longer than any other holiday and they bring friends and their friends bring friends. Yesterday when one of my coworkers heard the news, she commented that last year 15 out-of-town guests stayed with her for BBQ week. And they came to Polk County specifically for the BBQ event.

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The BBQ Festivals economic impact on Polk County goes way beyond the Chambers bottom line. In my opinion it is a must that we find a way to keep BBQ Festival alive and well in Polk County.

Maybe Chamber members dont care if BBQ Festival happens or not. Maybe they do. Perhaps that question should have been asked of us. After all, without the members there is no Chamber at all. At a minimum, the opportunity to host the BBQ Festival should have been offered to other agencies before just pulling the plug. When I think of how many people volunteered endless hours in order to make the BBQ Festival happen, I find it rather heartbreaking that these same people feel like they have been slapped in the face. Something feels terribly wrong about this.

The BBQ Festival has become a tourist attraction and a driver of economic opportunity for our community.

We really cant afford to lose that.

Jo Ann Miksa-Blackwell