By Eleanor Sevigny
Published in The Burg July 15, 2021
For over 40 years Railroad Days has been a huge annual community event in Galesburg. Last year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year was Railroad Day's huge comeback!
After bringing back Railroad Days chairman of 17 years, Dennis Clark, officially hung up his hat and stepped down as chairman of Railroad Days.
“Julie King and Tony Oligney-Estill will be the new co-chairs for 2022.” stated Clark.
Mayor Peter Schwartzman took a moment to honor Clark’s years of service to the Galesburg community at the June 21, 2021 City Council Meeting. Mayor Schwartzman proclaimed that June 26, 2021 is Dennis Clark Day.
“The Proclamation Day was a nice gesture and I appreciate the recognition.” stated Clark.
Even after his final busy weekend as Chairman of Railroad Days Clark was able to give us a recap of the 2021 Railroad Days.
“Galesburg Railroad Days 2021 was a nice turnout considering the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ever changing safety protocols created by the State, Federal Government, and CDC. The public no longer knows whom they should believe because of conflicting statements given by these organizations. Many activities didn’t occur at the 2021 Railroad Days. We had about thirty percent to forty percent overall attendance. The carnival was up ten percent attendance. But with nothing at the Depot, Standish Art in the Park, and no Dick Blick 5K the numbers were down.” stated Clark.
Despite the lower attendance numbers Galesburg Police Chief Idle made his mark on Railroad Days.
“More families attended the carnival. Police Chief Idle and the police force did excellent work for prevention of incidents.” praised Clark.
For his final words as chairman Clark expressed gratitude and a call to action, “I wish to thank all the individuals and groups that helped over all the years with Galesburg Railroad Days. To the rest of the Galesburg community the future of Galesburg Railroad Days depends on YOU. YOU can help and make it a successful celebration for your community or not. I appreciate the people I met and worked with over the years. I wish them success for the future.”
The Burg newspaper congratulates Clark on his final year as chairman of Railroad Days and wishes him the best on what he chooses to do next.
Plans for the 2022 Railroad Days are already underway. Be sure to keep reading The Burg and follow our website https://www.theburg.news/ for updates on what new co-chairmans Julie King and Tony Olingney-Estill have planned for the 2022 Railroad Days.