One of the most enjoyable parts of our annual Watertown Riverfest celebration is the naming of the Main Street Bridge after a local citizen who has contributed much to the betterment of our community.

Right now the Riverfest committee is seeking nominations for this honor. Submitting a nomination is about as easy as it can possibly be.

First of all, you have to come up with the name of an individual who has done much for the community. The committee is looking for someone who volunteers his or her time and talents above what is typically their job or profession.

Often some of the nominations are for people who do their volunteer work "under the radar" and although they may be making a big contribution to the community, for one reason or another it goes unnoticed.

So, once you have a person in mind, all you need to do is jot down in writing why you believe your nomination should be selected as the winner. Just outline some of the work this individual does to make our community better. Explain how and where this work takes place.

The nomination doesn't have to be long and detailed.

The committee will then meet a week before the festival and go through the applications and by a process of elimination the winning name is selected.

If possible we like to have the individual to be honored at the festival "kept in the dark" about the award until he or she is called to the stage. Sometimes we have to tell the person in advance so they do show up for the presentation but usually not.

The person nominated is called to the stage, usually on Saturday or Sunday just before the noon show begins. A short explanation of why the person was selected is followed by the presentation of a plaque and then the honoree says a few words and the concert begins a short while later.

The name of the person is then engraved on a large plaque at the entrance to the Rock River Walkway in downtown Watertown where it is joined by dozens of other people who have been honored.

Remember, the person you nominate has to be living and a resident of Watertown or the immediate area or have strong ties to our community.

There are a number of people who contribute so much to the community, and each year we receive some really solid ones. Lots of times it's difficult to pick just one when there are several that would be perfect fits.

So, get those nominations pulled together. Nominations can be submitted to Bridge Naming Committee, c/o Watertown Daily Times, P.O. Box 140, Watertown, WI 53094-0140, or by dropping them off at the Daily Times office at 113-115 W. Main St., Watertown.


A number of Watertown businesses are now selling Riverfest raffle tickets and we want to encourage our readers to purchase some of them from those who are selling.

The raffle is a critical part of the financial success of our annual festival. Without the proceeds from the raffle, the festival would not be economically viable year after year.

The tickets are $2 each and a total of $15,000 in prizes are awarded at the conclusion of the festival Sunday evening. Typically $40,000 or more in raffle tickets are sold every year meaning that after the $15,000 in prizes and some other minor expenses are covered the remaining $24,000-$25,000 in raffle proceeds is used to help cover the expenses related to the festival such as the great live entertainment, etc.

So, whether you purchase them from one of the participating businesses in advance of the festival or if you do it on the grounds during the four-day event, you are helping to make the event a success.

Yes, it would be nice to win the grand prize of $5,000 or one of the 15 prizes of $500, one of 20 at $100 each or even one of the 10 at $50, but be sure to take a broader view and consider the purchase of raffle tickets as a way to keep the festival financially strong.

Remember, there is no admission at Riverfest and parking is free. Purchasing a few raffle tickets is a way to help keep the event free and also to attract high quality entertainment.

The festival is now only three weeks away so stop by one of the businesses and purchase a few raffle tickets in advance.

You could be a lucky winner but you will certainly be a contributor to the success of the festival.


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