To the casual festival-goer, it is easy to believe that the Festival appears out of nowhere, seemingly overnight. In reality, assembling all the physical components of the Festival takes about three weeks; it begins in late July, and utilizes hundreds, if not thousands of volunteer-hours. Let’s take a chronological look at how it all comes together:

Two weeks before the Opening Ceremonies, a crew of volunteers begins to unload the storage building on Greenwood Street just south of Dr. Gale Fletchall Hall. This building is used by the Junction City Art Association during the Festival as their gallery. The unloaded equipment and materials, which includes all the benches, power panels; the Archway, the Dala Horse, and the rent-a-booths are staged around Festival Park and near the Library. After everything is unloaded, a crew of about 10 builds the Festival Park bleachers. The task takes all morning and part of the afternoon. The next day, more volunteers erect the Festival Park Stage backdrop.

On the Friday before Festival, members of Kansatansijat, a local high-school age dance group, assemble the Festival Park Stage floor. The next day, Skandia Leikarringen, a local adult-aged dance group, assembles the Mall Platform Stage, located on Greenwood next to the Library. Sunday evening before Festival, members of the Vendor committee lie out all of the booth placements throughout Festival grounds.

The heavy work really starts on the Monday before Festival. Beginning at about 7:00 in the morning, a crew of volunteers and Board Members begins to distribute the 28 power panels that supply electricity to all the outdoor vendors. Once those panels are set in place, the volunteers stretch out 3,500 feet of cabling from the panels to utility poles located around downtown so that the electrician leading the project can hook it all up.

Once that is done, Volunteers can begin hooking up and troubleshooting the 2,100 feet of freshwater supply lines and 1,500 feet of gray water drain tubing. Other Board members and volunteers help the electrician with additional cord-stretching, as well as distributing the yellow cord protectors that cover the cords as they cross the sidewalks and driveway cut-outs.

On Monday evening at 5:30pm, the streets throughout downtown are closed down to through traffic. Once the streets are secured, members of the Junction City Moose Lodge, Board Members and Volunteers help to guide the windmill to its’ location at Sixth Avenue and Greenwood Street. The placement of the windmill is the cue for the larger booths to begin moving in. At that point the old world Scandinavian Village really begins to take shape.

On Tuesday, the Archway at Sixth Avenue and Holly Streets is put into place, along with its adjoining performance stage, and finishing touches are made to the Mall Platform. Volunteers spend the rest of the day making sure all the vendors get moved in, and that everything is working as it should, as well as making any last minute changes and touch-ups as necessary.

Throughout this time, other volunteers and Board members have been busy putting up signs, setting up benches and garbage cans, posting daily schedules, checking the sound equipment, lighting and props. As well as making sure all the visiting performance groups have everything they need.

On Wednesday morning, the flower pots arrive and are distributed throughout the Festival grounds led by volunteer Judy Parmenter, and the finishing touches are made to everything. Finally it’s time to open the Festival to the public!

 By: Jeff Peterson