12/13/17 – Beaver Dam Lake Days could soon be coming to an end. The mid-July weekend festival features a carnival midway, food, beverages and live music from local and national touring acts. Longtime organizer Doug Sackett tells us that it all take a lot of work and the Lake Days Committee has taken a major hit recently with the departure of three veteran members who had a combined 40-to-50 years’ experience organizing the annual lake front event at Tahoe Park. Sackett says unless at least a dozen of the 16-thousand residents in Beaver Dam step forward, Lake Days will immediately fold and there will be no event in 2018. He says it would be a shame to see Lake Days come to an end on what would be its 25th anniversary.
Sackett says it has been hard to put on a successful event since the city reduced its contribution. Beaver Dam used to contribute to Lake Days and other area events through revenues from its room tax. However, council action redirected revenue from the room tax over a decade ago to the Beaver Dam Area Development Corporation, a public-private economic development entity responsible for filling up the city’s business parks. Recent changes in state statute now prohibits the practice of diverting room tax dollars from tourism promotion budgets, but communities like Beaver Dam were grandfathered-in. As a result, the only city support Lake Days has received in recent years has come directly from city taxpayers.
The money generated from the festival stays local. Lake Days works as something of a fundraiser that allows volunteers to work for an hourly wage with local non-profits benefiting. There are 149, three-hour time slots that need to be filled over the course of what has been both a three and four-day event. Sackett says if you have ever thought about helping organize the festival, “this is your last chance.” The next Lake Days Committee meeting will be next Wednesday, December 20th at 5:30pm at Total Business Products on DeClark Street in Beaver Dam, right across the street from Rechek’s Food Pride.
For more information:
Doug Sackett: (920) 296-6812.