It began in 2016 when Cascade residents were invited to show their pride in their German, Irish or Luxembourgish heritage. A year later people turned out to celebrate and thank the Cascade Fire Department for protecting the town and its residents for 130 years. Last year, patrons were challenged to “shake, rattle and roll.”
Cascade Hometown Days began three years ago when a planning committee put together the various pieces of the town’s “signature event,” but those plans were not made overnight. Instead, they were made over many nights and after many meetings. Even on frigid winter nights, the committee meets to plan the next celebration, when sun-drenched parades and spending nights by Riverview Park are the last things on most people’s minds.
Thankfully, Tanner Coyle is among the volunteers involved with bringing the celebration to life, in his third year on the committee. Coyle helps on the entertainment subcommittee.
“We have entertainment, which is basically run by Linda Hoffman and then me and Dagwood (Daren Manternach) help out with that,” Coyle said. “My biggest part of that subcommittee is making sure downtown is set up and the streets blocked off, and I set up the live music that goes out in front of Two Gingers’ Tavern on the street.”
There are also subcommittees for children’s games, vendors, t-shirts, social media, design and more. The main committee tries meeting monthly, normally on the first Wednesday of each month. The planning for a celebration begins the month after the previous one was held. “The big first step is getting the theme planned out,” said Coyle.
He had a couple reasons for becoming involved with the annual event. “I joined the committee because I am the manager of Two Gingers’. It’s the biggest day of the year for the bar, so I felt that it was important that I be involved with what’s going on downtown that day.”
He also knows the importance of Hometown Days in bringing people into town for the weekend.
“I think it’s an important event for the community because it gives everyone an excuse to come to town for the weekend and get together with friends and family. This past year we had like three or four class reunions scheduled for that weekend and it worked out great. I heard a few other classes are planning theirs for this coming one also, which is awesome. Not only is it great for our people in town but it also draws people from surrounding towns and it just really helps local businesses if they are open that day.”
There is always room for additional volunteers for any of the subcommittees. “I would say to anyone that has any ideas where we can improve as a committee to come to the meetings and get involved. The more ideas the better,” Coyle said. “Each year we try to improve on things from past years. And from what I have seen each year seems to draw more and more people, so we must be doing something right.”
The next meeting is tonight, beginning at 6 p.m., at Two Gingers’.