Traditionally, each year’s festival events start with a Kick Off hosted in early February. Through the years the format of the kickoff has traveled through a variety of formats. One year a jazz band entertained the guests at the Troy Country Club . More recently, the Lutheran church on State Route 41 has hosted the event.
Corrie’s theme is celebratory and focuses on New Orléans and Mardi Gras. She wanted the celebration at a local Cajun Restaurant. Unfortunately, that restaurant’s facility was not ready in time for the Kick Off. The event organizers moved the event to the Community Room at the Chamber Offices. The space was smaller but the food (and the drink) was excellent. I believe the event went off very well.
Mayor Mike Beamish (a former General Chairman himself) has been an ardent supporter of the event through the years. Although not always a participant, he traditionally addresses the Kick Off participants.
The following year’s General Chairman serves as the host of the Kick Off. Jimmy Weaver is the 2013 General Chairman. Amongst his many strengths is his comfort speaking in front of large groups. The event went very well in large part because of his speaking ability.
Another tradition is for the former chairman to spend time reflecting on the prior year’s event. The 2011 event General Chairman David Geiger thanked the committee and the community for all their support.