I’ve always been really proud to live in Webster County. I don’t know exactly how the pride of my community started or if there was any one moment that triggered it, but for the last ten or more years that I’ve been aware enough to have an opinion about the place I call home, I’ve had nothing but pride for my community.
I know I’m not alone in this pride, during times of crisis, fear, celebration, etc. we see our community come together. Strangers purchased toilet paper for strangers during COVID. Half the town of Marshfield put on a car parade for seniors during COVID. We’ve seen benefits hosted for medical issues, we’ve seen pay it forward lines at McDonalds, we’ve seen Christmas wish lists filled.
There isn’t an argument that Marshfield/Webster County is a great place to live.
But this last week was a bit disappointing.
I don’t know if y’all can’t handle the heat, or if you were too stressed out by rising gas prices to think clearly, but what I do know is I saw a whole hell of a lot of complaining going on.
As soon as the news hit that the fair had lost its carnival, everyone one had an opinion. Everyone had a complaint. Did you even READ the full article or did you hear from your neighbor Joe, who heard from his brother Kevin, who heard from his wifes sister Susan, who heard from her friend who “knows everyone” that the chamber failed to secure a carnival for the fair?
There are some facts we need to set straight.
1.) The Chamber of Commerce does not, in fact, organize the Fair. The fair is organized by the Fair Board, a very dedicated group of folks who have spent YEARS organizing the fair. The SAME PEOPLE who put on “a really great fair the past several years” (quote from someone on FB).
2.) The Fair Board actually busted their hind ends trying to get SOMETHING, ANYTHING, together to appease the “Karens” that always have an opinion. The contracts by not one, but two, carnivals being canceled was completely and utterly out of their control. And you know, they could have said “Forget it, we’re done” two weeks ago (less than ONE WEEK) before the fair. But they didn’t. They stayed up late, they made countless phone calls, they worked until MIDNIGHT the day before the fair to try and salvage the carnival. And what did they get in return, “worst fair ever” and countless other complaints on Facebook. And y’all I’m just gonna say this: but do any of you complainers even GO TO THE FAIR? I mean really, is the carnival portion of the fair that important to you? Do you spend money throwing darts and pushing quarters every night for a week? I think ya’ll should really be saying thank you. Thank you for saving us from spending money we don’t have on a carnival full of prizes that we don’t need.
3.) The 4th of July parade. I’m gonna be real honest. The parade is one of my favorite events in Webster County. If anything is representative of Webster County its our parade. Red isn’t even on the top five list of my favorite colors, but for this one day of the year nothing makes my heart happier than seeing the streets lined with red, white and blue. Days ahead of the fair, the Chamber of Commerce posted a beautiful photo of our court house draped in the Flag. It really was a beautiful photo. Was being the key word because not long after the photo was posted, here come the comments. If you saw that post and the comments then here’s what I’m going to say about it: a couple weeks ago the Marshfield Mail office was tagged with some hot pink graffiti, it was a gorgeous work of art that couldn’t be left on the building due to us being a neutral zone (sorry-we just can’t be in your happiness gang). After posting a photo that received several comments, one person did more. A small business owner who lives in our community went beyond the comments section and immediately offered to come and clean the building. He came on the weekend (his time off with his family) and he did it for free. I can only assume this is because he, like most of us, have pride in the place where we live.
All I’m saying is this: if the only place you can offer help to your community is in the comments section of a Facebook post then you really aren’t helping your community.
Webster County, Marshfield, is a really great place to live. We have beautiful parks, we have great places to shop and eat and we have neighbors that want to help. But at the end of the day, what makes our community so great are the people taking action. The people behind the scenes losing sleep so your fair can go on, the people dripping in sweat making sure your parade is lined up, the people who see an old saddle club and rally to breathe new life into it so that Marshfield has a local place to ride, the people picking up trash and spraying down buildings so that our town remains beautiful.
I’m challenging you friends: find a group, grab a trash bag, pick up a newspaper. Find a way to support this town outside of Facebook, because one day, when the elders of these committees are gone-it’s going to be up to us. And I’m damn sure not going to watch a virtual parade.
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