Seasons passing on.

Money raising has been a major feature of this past few months and it appears to have been a fair success. Along with donation bottles set around the county, there was a Hot Dog and Brat tent set up during the St. Johns Mint Festival. Actually the food tent was set up inside the beer tent fence area. The downtown management board sponsored the beer tent and gambling tent on city owned depot property. The mint festival was held in the large public park as it does annually.

It turns out that drinking, listening to really good live music and minor gambling does not an appetite make. While sales were adequate, it certainly did not match the expectation. But the crew that Jenny McCampbell put together reported that they had a great time working together. A lot of them had not worked with the same people before.

A silent auction was held the next week. It was part of the last concert in the park for the year. The concert featured Matt King doing his impersonation of Elvis. He is good enough to annually draw one of the largest crowds of the concert season.

The auction was held in the main pavilion and Jenny and her committee reported it to have been a fun filled financial success. Her committee had really hustled to come up with about 71 attractive items. Only a few items did not sell.

The money raising peaked with a musical production that was written by Marti Cooper with Jenny and Gary McCampbell. It was produced by Jenny and co-directed with Gary. The cast and crew were the old standbys of the Homegrown production team with the added talents of singers from the local area. Two of them, Louis Longoria and The Dude are popular singers but they had not been part of a stage production. Both reported that this was a pleasant ander new experience for them.

One of the star attractions was the news report from WILX.TV. Jason Colthorp who showed his expertise at alibiing and portraying a street report with high energy. The audiences from this two night performance have reported having had a great time.

The Sunday, 1 to 3pm openings also seemed to have been well received. While the crowds were not overwhelming, Jenny and Gary report, the visitors appeared to be enjoying the personally guided tours and new insights into railroading. At the same the visitors offered many tales of railroading from their perspective. About a dozen different visitors have left written testimonials as to their experiences and these are being added to Jenny's binder of past stories.

The Sunday opening will be ending this October. It is expected that they will resume next May. In the mean time there are a number of events that are being planned to be held in the depot, in both October and November. Also work will continue on the train layouts.

As always communications with CNR are encouraged all year long.