A Part of It All: The Valparaiso Events Story
You’ve seen us all around town, and you may have gone to one (or more) of our events throughout the year, but do you know our story? What are the origins of Valparaiso Events? Why do we do what we do? Today, we’re taking a look at our story, and how far we’ve come since then.
Sure, you’ve seen us over the years host longtime staples around town such as the Popcorn Festival and the Valparaiso Market, but did you ever wonder where we got started? VE – then known as “Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events” – came to be in 1999, after merging with Associates in Downtown and the Popcorn Festival office. Our mission? To host, in collaboration with community partners, a series of festivals and events to enhance the quality of life for the Valparaiso community and our visitors.
Over the years, things have grown exponentially for this non-profit organization – now known simply as “Valparaiso Events.” In 2008, our calendar included 6 events. Today, we host 13 in a span of 95 days, with 91 of them being free to the public. Exactly how much have we grown? Annually, we welcome over 110 thousand attendees of all ages to our city.
It’s not just the number of events that have grown in the past 18 years. What started out with just a handful of people behind the scenes has come to include:
- 14 board members
- 57 VE Members
- 42 event sponsors
- 350 volunteers that contribute more than 7400 hours
Despite all the changes and growth that has happened to VE, one thing still remains: our mission. No matter how much we grow and no matter what happens, we will continue to bring to you a series of festivals and events to enhance the quality of life for the Valparaiso community and our visitors.
It’s not just events that we’re responsible for. Outside of our 95 days of events, we’re still bringing the downtown area to life. You may have noticed the lights that hung around town during the holiday season, or the ever-changing banners on the light poles, and even the flower pots. All of those are the efforts of VE to enhance and enliven our city year-round.
What’s next for VE? We plan on bringing you another season of great events for all to enjoy. Whether you enjoy coming out to the annual Popcorn Festival or the weekly farmer’s market, you’re a fan of craft beer or wine, or perhaps you enjoy live entertainment in the park, there’s plenty to see and do around Valparaiso in 2017!
To those who have been with us since the beginning, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride!
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