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P.O. Box 101
Creston, IL 60113
CRESTON BOOSTER CLUB Excerpt from The History of Creston
With Permission from Lyle Headon
On September 10, 1954, a group of men met at the Creston Grade School for the purpose of "forming a unified group of men in the Creston area with the betterment of Creston as its goal". The charter members were established at the next meeting and included: William Seiple, Keith Halverson, Charles Clucas, H.W. Colwill, Wayne Frakes, Howard Cross, Rev. R.E. Hofstad, Denver Bailey, Ralph Edwards, Paul Halverson, Clarence Brown, Clarence Erickson, and Verlis Finnestad. By June 28, 1955 the CRESTON BOOSTER CLUB had grown to an amazing 60 members.
In December of 1955, Clarence Erickson, Grant Hendrickson and Ray Wadey were appointed to talk to Ray Doole in Esmond to see how they handled their 4th of July celebration, and in April of 1956, a discussion was held regarding a similar celebration to be held for Creston in the fall. Committees were chosen: Grounds, Yngve Johnson; Booths, Leonard Quitno; Auction, John Gittleson; Games, LeRoy Govig; Parade, Henry Ihnen; Food, Howard Cross. Thus, the first Booster Day celebration was held on September 8, 1956. A stage and stands were built as ideas developed. Net profit the first year was $1,200.00. The first few years' festivities were held on the grade school grounds. In 1967 the Booster Club purchased the site of the old clay pit with adjacent land west to Center Street for a park, and subsequent Boosters' Days have been held there. The Boosters built a shelter house with an enclosed kitchen and another large building with bathroom facilities. This building is also now used as a garage for school buses and municipal equipment.
As the years have gone by, Boosters' Days (now known as September Fest) has gotten bigger and better. On a typical week-end the festivities start on Saturday morning and might include such activities as a children's parade, tractor pulls, a fun run, mud volleyball, and carnival rides. Since 1986 a craft tent has been filled with exhibits, including the Methodist and Lutheran Church women who sell craft items and bakery goods. There have been additional stands selling everything from jewelry, wood items, clocks, and pictures to pop, popcorn, and caramel apples. The Saturday afternoon tradition has been an auction where items donated by local merchants are sold. The Booster kitchen has always had good choice of food, including sandwiches, pie and plenty of coffee.
Sunday activities begin with a community church service in the park, conducted by the ministers of the Baptist, Methodist, and Lutheran churches. The pork chop barbecue became a Sunday tradition followed by the "big" parade. Many well-known bands have marched in the Creston Booster Day parade, bands such as the Great Lakes Naval Band and the Phantom Regiment. (The parade continues to last an hour or more—depending whether or not it is delayed by a train!) Bingo has remained a favorite activity at the festival, and the Booster members sell raffle tickets for a drawing which signals the close of the week-end's activities.
The Booster Club has done much for the village and surrounding area through the years. They have built tennis courts and playground equipment in the park. They installed new lights on Main Street and provided two lights to the school and a light in front of each church. They have paid for the installation of an outside basketball court at the school, provided uniforms for the basketball teams and cheerleaders, have sponsored summer baseball programs, and they continue to donate to special programs and needs at the elementary school. For five years the club provided rent-free space for the community's first library. The Booster Club has also responded to Rochelle and Ogle County needs by making donations to Rochelle Jr. Tackle, Rochelle Community Hospital, Spring Lake and Ogle County Hospice. They also contribute annually to all three Creston churches.