By the time the last of the fireworks exploded over the skies at the Fourth of July Star Spangled Spectacular we were already jumping head first into planning our next signature event, the Cotton Festival. In reality planning for the event began long before, but now that Independence Day is behind us, we go full bore into not only planning October’s Cotton Festival, but also the Holiday Festival & Christmas Tree Lighting, which occurs six weeks later.
All of our events take a lot of teamwork to happen. While we have an events coordinator who oversees the operation, we cannot put on an event that hosts thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people without the help of most of our departments, as well as Northwest Fire and other community partners. To make sure your experience at the Cotton Festival is an enjoyable one, all of our departments meet weekly to ensure their role in putting on the event is clearly defined and is working in harmony with all the other departments.
Like most of our signature events, this year’s Cotton Festival promises to be our biggest yet, and that means we have to plan to accommodate for more people, more traffic, and in turn, give them more fun things to do. Although we are in the early stages of planning, we have already expanded the number of carnival rides that will be available. This year we will have five FREE attractions for children of all ages, sizes, and thrill seeker levels. There will be things for adventuresome teens, to the most cautious toddlers.
That is just a start. We have already been hard at work coordinating our rodeo activities, looking for the perfect musical act to provide the soundtrack for the evening’s festivities, and are looking at how to get more volunteers involved. We truly want this to be a community event.
We have just begin putting together the plan for the “Chili Bowl”, the chili cook off hosted by the Community Food Bank in Marana. They are beginning to gather local businesses and organizations to compete for the best tasting chili. Cotton Festival attendees can pay to try bowls of chili and vote for their favorite. The funds raised from the tasting go to the Food Bank in their efforts to fight hunger in the community.
Yummy chili and a good cause sounds good to us.
We have listened to your feedback and we know that the animals at the petting zoos are very popular and that the kids just love to play in the fluffy cotton pile. We are hard at work brainstorming on how to make both of those experiences even better.
Soon it will be time to turn our attention to the food vendors that make Cotton Festival so much fun (and delicious.) Once again we are working with Marana High School to use the Cotton Festival as a way to let their clubs entertain the kiddos, while also fundraising for their own activities.
While October 21 seems like a long way away, it will be here before any of us know it. Although we are getting an early start on things, there is still so much left to do to make sure you have a great time at Cotton Festival.
We will keep posting updates at the Marana Newsroom as well as on our social media platforms, so keep an eye out.
See you in October.