Fest leverages resources well

People who wonder how to best leverage their community’s resources should take a trip to Oregon this weekend and experience the annual Autumn on Parade festival.

The concept of a community leveraging its resources to achieve their maximum benefit is a powerful one.

Were entrepreneur Jack Schultz, author of “Boomtown USA: The 7½ Keys to Big Success in Small Towns,” to visit the 42nd annual Autumn on Parade festival in Oregon, he likely would look around, nod his head, and say, “Well done.”

Schultz spoke at this week’s Sauk Valley Symposium about how residents who recognize their resources and take advantage of them can bring life to their communities.

That certainly is happening this weekend in Oregon.

Autumn on Parade attracts thousands of visitors who want to experience the community’s resources amid the scenic Rock River Valley.

The festival’s logo features the Black Hawk statue and autumn leaves.

Who doesn’t enjoy a drive to view the colors of autumn?

Who isn’t impressed by the majestic statue, also known as the Eternal Indian, standing guard over the river at Lowden State Park?

If you’re looking for autumn leaves, nearby White Pines State Park is another destination.

Oregon may be the only river community that has a state park named for a castle – Castle Rock – downstream, while upstream it has a real castle – Stronghold.

The Olde English Faire at Stronghold Center, north of Oregon, is an incredible treat for community members and visitors alike.

Within the community, the festival celebrates the historic 1891 Ogle County Courthouse. Courthouse Square is the center of farmers market and arts and crafts activities.

Other events are an auto and tractor show, book sale at the library, food court, tours of the Ogle County Museum and Chana School, a 5K walk and run, kids Fun Zone, duck dash and 50/50 raffle.

Sunday’s Harvest Time Parade is an additional chance for the community to put its best foot forward, which it has done, year after year.

People in other communities who are looking for ways to leverage their own resources ought to consult autumnonparade.org for events, times and locations, get in the car, and take a drive to Oregon this weekend.