by Eric Oslund
The 16th annual Otsego Prairie Festival will be taking place Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to approximately 10:30 p.m.
The first part of the day — dedicated to the Otsego Rod and Custom Car Show and exhibitors — will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. There is a $10 fee for anyone looking to enter a car into the show; it’s free to spectators. The show is open to all stock, modified or custom classes of automobiles and motorcycles, and there will be 18 custom trophies awarded which include Mayor’s Choice, Host’s Choice and the top-15 vehicles voted on by the spectators and participants.
As for the exhibitors, it’s a chance for people in Otsego and the surrounding communities to stop by and see what the city has to offer.
“We really try to focus on Otsego businesses and drawing people to Otsego, and trying to show them what Otsego has to offer,” said Parks and Recreation Director Ross Demant. “Especially over the last couple years, we’ve really worked on trying to advertise it to get families that are new to the area in to see the exhibitors and what they — from plumbers to soccer associations — have to offer.”
After the 3 o’clock hour, the attention turns toward the attractions the festival has, which will include bounce houses from Jump City, an enclosed paintball cage from Annandale Paintball, and a video game wagon that has 20 stations of videos games for people to play from Xbox to Play Station 4.
Those events will be going on all day, but will shoulder more of the focus once the car show and exhibitors shut down.
Other attractions going on will be bingo hosted by the Lions Club from 3-5 p.m., and then a raffle hosted by the Lions Club at 6 p.m.
Outside Recess will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. and play for about four hours. They are a local favorite, as they not only put on a good show for anyone coming to watch, but there are also teachers in the band who work at local schools. Fireworks will cap off the event.
Food and drink will also be available throughout the day. There will be pizza, corn dogs and other carnival-type food, but the city is also looking into having a special food item available as well.
As the city continues to grow, the event is expected to grow as well.
“It certainly draws everyone together,” Demant said. “Usually a focal point of any community is kind of the school district, and with it being pulled in three different directions, we try to create events where people can come from all sides of the city to enjoy, and this is probably the biggest one we do.”