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Community is everything in Milltown


March 27, 2013
If you are in search of a welcoming environment, Milltown should be at the top of the list. The Town of Milltown and its community members have worked hard to give the town a reputation of safety and cleanliness and they have welcomed individuals and families alike with open arms.

And perhaps no group has had a bigger part in that endeavor than the Milltown Events Committee.

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The parade is a highlight of the Milltown Community Festival, one of several events hosted annually by the all-volunteer Milltown Events Committee. File photo
Coordinated by Curt Hudson, president of the town council, the committee is made up entirely of volunteers.

"It originally started with the festival," Hudson said. "It wasn't what it is today. It literally just kind of evolved."

That festival was a Milltown bluegrass event that was put on by the Blue River Café. Since 2004, the town has been involved with the festival and has helped it to grow into the multi-day event that it is now with sponsors like Lucas Oil Products, who provides the annual fireworks show for the event.

The festival has grown from a small, multi-band performance into a three-day event that features live music, demonstrations, contests, food and a safe place for families to bring their children.

Milltown United Methodist Church Pastor Matt Hinshaw, the event was also the beginning of community outreach and an attempt to bring people closer to one another and to God.

"We put on a service," Hinshaw said. "I asked the other two churches to help out. We have a community worship service on the green, and it has gone over extremely well. It went over so well with the churches that we now have an Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas community service."

The Events Committee isn't just all about fun good-time events. The committee also coordinates cleanup efforts throughout the community and partners with organizations like American Legion Post 332 to provide a large number of community support and safety endeavors.

"It's not a pretty project but one of our big events each year is Clean-Up Milltown," Hudson said. "People can bring all the stuff in their basement or that they don't need and get rid of it in these big dumpsters."

It was an event that began in 1989 due to the prompting from the late Kathleen Roggenkamp during the preparation for the town's sesquicentennial celebration and has grown each year since.

Committee members Bill Byrd and Joyce Young agree that the cleanup effort is an invaluable service to the community. The Events Committee now hosts more than five large and several small events each year in conjunction with different community organizations and businesses.

Aside from the community festival and Clean-Up Milltown, the committee helps with Halloween festivities, hosts an annual Easter egg hunt and Light Up Milltown event and partners with Post 332 for Memorial Day and Veterans Day community remembrance activities.

"All of the funding is out-of-pocket, donations, fundraisers or the town board," Young said. "The Legion has a cook-out every year to raise money."

The committee currently meets every two weeks to brainstorm, address issues and plan for the coming months. For more information or to volunteer, contact the Milltown Town Hall at 633-4848.

"I think we are a big demonstration of what we want the town to be," Byrd said.

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