I was really excited heading into this past weekend. Who wouldn’t be in my position? A local church was throwing an entire festival in my honor!
This has never happened to me before and I was very understandably giddy.
So needless to say I was a bit confused when I arrived at NickFest on Friday afternoon and I wasn’t immediately greeted by crowds of adoring fans and well-wishers. Sure, everyone was pleasant enough, saying hello and smiling. But it wasn’t quite the welcome that I expected to receive at an event named after me.
Over the course of Friday and Saturday I obviously came to realize that as much as I wanted it to be, NickFest was not a party thrown in my honor. Rather, it actually served an even greater purpose.
NickFest had an opportunity this weekend to provide something that O’Fallon has been lacking for a while, and that is a community festival. By now everyone has heard about May Fest and why it ultimately went away. O’Fallon has been without a real classic festival and the folks at St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church decided they were going to try and bring one back. They should be commended for their efforts.
The inaugural NickFest was a success given that it had a few things going against it. There was the weather. It was pretty damp at times, which a lot of folks feared would keep crowds away. There were so many other festivals going on, from the Moye School Spring Fling to Belleville’s Art on the Square, that there was no shortage of entertainment this past weekend. But despite it all, there were large crowds both evenings, with lots of families coming out together to enjoy the festivities.
It surprises me that a town with as much community pride as O’Fallon hasn’t had much of a town festival since May Fest went away. So even though NickFest had nothing to do with me, it’s good to see the city residents embracing the event and making its first year a good one.