Do You Remember Funfest? Can We Please Bring It Back Now?
Memorial Day is right around the corner, and every year that invokes memories of Funfest.
I saw a post on Facebook where people were remembering Funfest, and one word seemed to pop up about it...LOVED. They say it's better to have loved than lost than not to have loved at all, but I get the sense it just doesn't ring true for this beloved event.
LIVE MUSIC & GREAT FOOD
This incredibly popular gathering, put on by Junior League, was an Amarillo staple from 1978 to 2002. The massive even at Thompson park was full of carnival style foods, unique dishes and of course, live music. Funfest would always bring in some of the biggest names in country music like Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw (before he blew up) & Reba McEntire. It was a chance for the entire city to come together, sing along and forget all their worries. Steak on a stick would be seen in hundreds of peoples hands, and of course, frosty beverages to stay hydrated.
BRING ON THE RAIN
One of the ironic things about Funfest was that it always seemed to bring rain...and that's one thing people seem to miss the most. It seems to be urban legend that if Funfest isn't around, rain will never be in the forecast for Memorial Day weekend. Whether this was the forces of the universe coming together or not, it does seem there MAY be a small truth to that.
THE UNFORTUNATE END
Unfortunately, times changed and the event had to come to an end. Back in the late 70's when it was all put together, many members of the Junior League didn't have jobs, so they were able to commit all their time and energy to the organization. As time went on though, those people ended up with outside jobs and couldn't find the time to put it together anymore. They also say the changing demographics of Amarillo played a part in it coming to an end.
WILL IT BE BACK?
In recent years, there have been some talks of trying to revive it, but to no avail. Talks with underwriters don't ever seem to go anywhere, so for now, we hold on to those memories. Maybe one day it'll all change, but Funfest will forever live in Amarillo lore.
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