Friday, August 16, 2013
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Chamber seeks more volunteers to help with festival to ensure its success

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[August 16, 2013]  The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce is again in serious need of individuals to sign up to volunteer for the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival. To have a successful event, the chamber needs approximately 200 more spots filled. Not all of these spots equate to individual people, however. Often people will sign up to work multiple shifts in a row or throughout the weekend, which is always appreciated.

"If the festival were tomorrow, we would have a great difficulty in providing a safe and positive experience for the guests to the event," said Andi Hake, executive director of the chamber of commerce. "This poor experience would be not only a poor reflection on the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival, but also our community."

After the 2012 festival, the chamber restructured the volunteer shifts to need less people to cover certain areas of the festival. This effort has helped because most of those volunteer spots have been filled.

However, there are three crucial areas that could not be changed because of the nature of the jobs that these individuals do. One of those areas is parking direction, which is important for safety because these people help keep order for the parking of thousands of vehicles on Friday and Saturday. Another vital area is admissions at the airport. These individuals also serve as another layer of safety as they help with manning the main gates that help manage traffic flow.

The last crucial area is more about a positive experience for the guests and a positive experience with the chamber's partners; the city and the county. These positions are morning cleanup at the airport, Latham and Scully parks. Cleanup is a vital volunteer positive because it is important to the chamber that the festival and all that it encompasses is a good steward for the community and that the community is presented in a positive light. Being clean is a large part of that positive image.

In years past, Lincoln Correctional Center was able to provide female inmates to do morning cleanups for the festival, but because of the changing of the prisons and all the overtime the staff already has, that option is not available this year.

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The annual Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival is coming up the weekend of Aug. 24, 25 and 26. The signature event will have the entire city hopping with activity, from downtown Lincoln to the Postville Courthouse to the Logan County Airport. Balloon launches, amusement rides, flea markets, great food, barbecue, art and much more make Lincoln the place to be in all of central Illinois the last full weekend of August.

But it takes more than great activities to make the weekend memorable for all who attend; it also takes volunteers -- hundreds of them -- to make sure the weekend goes smoothly for all the guests who visit.

Hake pointed out that volunteers don't have to give up their opportunity to enjoy all the events with their family and friends. Shifts in the morning, afternoon and evening on various days allow people to help but still be able to enjoy the fun during the long weekend. If the three kinds of jobs mentioned above are not appealing to a volunteer, there are also other positions open.

Weekend wristbands are given to each volunteer, and the week of the event there is a party for all the volunteers.

Anyone interested in finding out more about being a volunteer can call the chamber office at 217-735-2385 or go to the chamber website at

[Text from file received from the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce]

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