Milroy’s community spirit

MILROY – Giving the kids a fun and safe place to play at the park in Milroy was one of the reasons the Fun Fest came to life this summer.

A town celebration came back to Milroy this past weekend, which included a Little Miss Milroy contest, firemen’s water fights, a parade, bingo and a sand volleyball tournament.

Tonya Duscher, Nicci Debbaut and Colleen Brooks were part of the Fun Fest committee, along with Dean Duscher.

The women said the committee wanted to help get new playground equipment for the city of Milroy, which can be costly.

“(Some) new stuff out there for the kids,” Duscher said.

“It was time to update it,” Debbaut said.

Getting the Fun Fest off the ground took lots of time and planning and meetings, Debbaut said. The last time the town had a festival was for its centennial in 2002.

“We’re hoping to get as much (playground equipment) as we can,” Brooks said. The aim is to get several pieces of playground equipment, including new slides, climbing items and swings for all ages, Duscher said.

Brooks said they started talking about the Fun Fest and its events in March. Debbaut said one of the committee’s first events was Cookies for Santa back in December. The goal is to raise $30,000 to go to the city for new playground equipment.

It’s good to see the support from the city and its residents, Debbaut said.

“With a little community, people are more apt to help out,” Debbaut said.

After the fun run/walk Saturday morning, people gathered along the street for the parade. As soon as the fire trucks started wailing to start the parade, the kids got excited to collect candy.

Scot Bowman said it was good to be able to be with neighbors for the town’s celebration.

“It’s nice to try and build up a tradition,” he said. “Community support is important.” It’s what makes the Milroy community so strong, he said.

After the parade, families and others gathered in the city park for food, take part in the sand volleyball tournament and check out the animals in the 4-H petting zoo.

“I think it’s a good deal,” said Ron Schmidt said about the Fun Fest. “It’s something for the families.” It also takes a lot of work to put together a town festival, Schmidt said, and he gives credit to the Fun Fest committee for doing it.

Lorna and Joe Plaetz of Lucan, along with their kids Isabel, Amelia and Xavier, rode in the parade for Granite Rock Insurance. Lorna Plaetz taught at Milroy Schools for five years and knows the daycare kids.

“I know how important it is getting the park (playground equipment) for them,” she said.

Lorna Plaetz was happy to be part of the festivities.

“It’s so nice to see all the people I know,” she said.

While the fireman’s water fight went on, three young girls competed for the title of Little Miss Milroy – Kayla Kesteloot, Brianna Duscher and Brooklyn Larsen. Each girl was asked five questions by Brooks: what is your favorite food, who is your friend and why, what class do you like in school, what have you been doing this summer and what is your favorite thing at the park. After a few minutes of deliberation, Kesteloot was crowned Little Miss Milroy.