Even though attendees had to endure heavy rains and thunderstorms that coincided with the event, the city of Stephenville’s first ever “Moo-La Fest” was a tremendous success.  

Thousands of people from here at home and from across the region attended and enjoyed the event. 

The genesis of the event was to celebrate the special relationship that exists between the citizens of Stephenville and the dairy industry of the area.  There have already been several well-written articles covering the festival and touting its success so I will not try to do so again with this column.

Instead, I want to recognize several organizations, people and businesses which were key to its success and extend my thanks to them for stepping up and supporting our community.

Here they are:

City staff formed a “Planning Team” made up of City Manager Allen Barnes, Parks and Leisure Services Director Jennifer Basham, Tourism and Visitor Bureau Manager Julie Smith, and Interim Director of Developmental Services Karen Wilkerson. 

Stephenville Tourism and Visitor Bureau Advisory Board provided support. Chelsey Velduizen Brown was responsible for the tasting tent; Belle Dowell’s sponsored the event; Kimberly Dunnahoo served as the volunteer coordinator and Phil Greer and Austin Hubbard provided meals for the balloon pilots.

We owe a special thank you to Dave Shelton (Western Dairy Transport) and Kim Harris (DairyMAX) for being hosts and providing the meal for the dairy family dinner. 

(By the way, Dave will also be participating in our Veterans’ Day events in November.)

Josh Sneed showed why he is considered one of the best hot air balloon meister in the nation. And we can’t forget all the balloon pilots and crew, food and commercial vendors and musicians who entertained the crowds.

There were so many Moo-La Fest sponsors and others who volunteered.

We especially want to thank the leadership and members of the Stephenville Finance Department, Stephenville Fire Department, Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department, Stephenville Police Department, Stephenville Public Works Department, and the Stephenville Tourism and Visitors Bureau. 

Finally, I want to say a special thanks to my colleagues on the Stephenville City Council who saw the vision of such a celebration and expressed a willingness to step up and fund what ended up being a fun time for all who attended.  

Moo-La Fest set Stephenville apart from other cities in our area and size across Texas.

Specifically, I want to recognize Carla Trussell for her vision and help planning Moo-La Fest, councilwoman Sherry Zachery for her sponsorship and Mark McClinton for being a volunteer.

If you see one of these folks, stick your hand out and say “thank you.” 

Now, the planning begins for next year’s Moo-La-Fest. 

As Mayor, I want to ask you to consider joining with those whom I have thanked by lending your own talents to help make the 2020 edition of this unique festival even better.

Stephenville is a one-of-a-kind community and events like Moo-La Fest will help us always stay that way.

Doug Svien is the mayor of Stephenville. His column is published monthly.