Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 18, 2001

There are many things in Winsted to be proud of

By PATRICE WALDRON

This past week I was asked a number of times what I thought of Winstock.

Having been the Journal editor for only six months, this was my first Winstock experience.

During my job interview, way back when, I was told that there's a country music festival that takes place every June, and if hired, I would have to work that weekend.

I'm from a tourist area in northern Wisconsin, so I'm used to having a massive influx of people for a weekend event.

Eagle River (my hometown), is the snowmobile capital of the world and there is a week of events dedicated to the sport of snowmobiling. There's also Cranberrry Fest, where 15,000 to 20,000 people gather to participate in fitness events, eat food made with cranberries, and spend mega-dollars in the 150 craft booths.

I was ready for the Winstock crowd, but I wasn't prepared at how well-organized the event was.

Boy, was I impressed. The police officers on duty were very visible, and those I talked to were friendly and helpful.

I think the idea to have law enforcement officers patrol the perimeter and campground on horseback is terrific.

I'm sure, with the number of people, the amount of liquid refreshments being consumed, and the rowdy atmosphere, (encouraged by the performers), there are bound to be some folks who would get a little too carried away. I saw very little obnoxious behavior in the area where the performances take place.

I think the presence of the security people and law enforcement folks are a deterent in themselves.

I was also impressed by all the people from Winsted who volunteer their time. I'm sure everyone was exhausted by Saturday night, but people were still smiling.

Being relatively new to the community, I had the chance to meet a whole bunch of people this weekend.

Riding around with Butch Amundsen to photograph the winners in the campground contest was an interesting experience.

Watching everyone, from the stage crew, to those at the information tent, to the people working the VIP tent, made me proud. I enjoyed the entertainment, and was just very impressed.

Speaking of proud, I get goosebumps just thinking about the Holy Trinity girls' softball team. Wow!

I was able to go to the first game the girls played at the state tourney in Mankato.

It was a bit hard to watch the girls make some errors, and to lose the game, but the girls held their heads up, and look at what they were able to do.

Those young ladies came back, pulled off a win in their second game on Friday, won on Saturday, and became consolation champions.

I am so very proud of each of those girls.

I haven't been here long, and I don't know the team members all that well, but I know some fine softball when I see it.

I joked with the girls after one of their first games of the year, congratulating them on their playing. I told them that I "throw like a girl, but I wish I could throw the ball like you girls do."

Those girls are fine athletes. They made Holy Trinity High School history, and they made Winsted proud by making it to the state tournament, and for doing so well.

It probably hasn't sunk in yet, but at one point in their lives, the girls will look back at this time in their lives, and realize the magic.

Let's all give them an extra pat on the back and tell them, "way to go girls!"

Another fine moment was Jason Ide qualifying for the state track and field meet in the long jump. I have enjoyed watching Jason play basketball, and participate in track and field.

He is an outstanding athlete, a polite young man, and has a ready smile. When I saw him at Winstock and asked him how it went at state, he told me that it wasn't his best day. The thing was, he seemed okay about it.

That's something that impresses me about these athletes, even with a less than perfect performance, I believe they retain their winning attitude.

I have believed for years, that no matter what your performance, you're a winner if you're out there trying.

I'm happy and proud to say I'm from Winsted!


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