POET to sponsor Fun Zone at Laddonia celebration

POET to sponsor Fun Zone at Laddonia celebration
An example of the mechanical bull that will be part of the POET Fun Zone at Laddonia's Sesquicentennial celebration in July. Giant slides and other features will also be a part of the event. [Submitted photo]
By: 
Dave Faries
Editor

Steve Murphy may have a go at the obstacle course. But the mechanical bull? That’s another matter.

“I might be past my mechanical bulling days,” explained the POET Biofuels general manager.

Both activities will be part of the POET Fun Zone at this year’s Laddonia Sesquicentennial and Fourth of July celebrations. The plan also calls for a giant triple lane slide, a rock climbing wall and an inflatable toy town.

POET, which is based in Laddonia, provided funding for set up after being approached by former mayor Josh Deimeke.

“They were looking at stepping up the festivities,” Murphy said. “It timed out well for a lot of reasons.”

Murphy ticks off the draw. The city has been a good partner with POET over the years, for one. The company’s expansion will be completed in a matter of weeks and the event provides an opportunity to show it off. And Laddonia’s fireworks display is legendary, drawing a large crowd.

Perhaps the biggest reason the company decided to go in big, however, is timing. While the city will celebrate 150 years, 2021 marks POET’s 15th year in Laddonia.

In normal times, the company holds an annual customer appreciation dinner. When Deimeke brought the Fun Zone idea to Murphy, doubts about the safety of indoor gatherings were still a major concern.

An outdoor event was less likely to be canceled.

“It sounded really good – a good thing to do all around,” Murphy pointed out. “This is different than all the things we’ve done before.”

POET is funding all Fun Zone activities over the two day event, which takes place July 3 through July 4. Everything in the area will be free to the public.

The company is promoting the zone and the entire celebration, hoping for a large turnout that will work as a gesture to the community as well as a nod to their customers.

“Now we’ll have to do something for our 20th anniversary,” Murphy said with a laugh.

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