By Travis Mounts
ARGONIA – Will Argonia Days continue as it has been, taking place on the third weekend of May? Could it be held sooner? Or maybe it will be turned into a fall festival.
The Argonia City Council, which has been the primary sponsor of Argonia Days in recent years, discussed how this year’s community event should look. No final decisions were made.
For years, Argonia Days was held on the third Saturday of May, with Argonia High School graduation taking place on Sunday afternoon.
This year, graduation will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 13, which is the second weekend of the month. It also is Mother’s Day weekend, which is why the Argonia Board of Education moved graduation to Saturday.
That left the city and Argonia Days volunteers to ponder how to schedule the event. One option would be to leave Argonia Days on the third Saturday, which would be May 20. The concern with that option is that Argonia Days would lose the visitors who come to town for graduation.
Another option would be to move up a week, but the concern there is that graduation activities on the same day would keep people from attending.
Council members and city staff also discussed the idea of moving the festival to autumn. Concerns with that idea include the number of other fall festivals in nearby communities, and the proximity to the Argonia Street Races and Car Show, which is planned for the first weekend in October.
City clerk Tara Pierce told council members that last year was the first time Argonia Days made money. She said she would hate to see Argonia Days lose money due to a scheduling change. Pierce said that people would likely be upset if Argonia Days did not happen in some form.
Another idea that popped up was moving Argonia Days, although the consensus was to keep events downtown.
“Everybody made the comment that they liked Argonia Days so much better when it moved downtown,” Pierce said. The event used to be hosted in Salter Park, a few blocks east of Main Street.
Other stakeholders will be contacted in the next couple of weeks. The plan is to have a final proposal to put in front of the city council members at the April 6 meeting.
If Argonia Days is to be held in May, planning must begin immediately. Many of the vendor and entertainment options are normally lined up in January and February.