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In her 11th year as Riverboat Days secretary, Katie Greene is still bringing her magic to the Yankton community’s end-of-summer festival.
This year, Riverboat Days runs from Aug. 16-18. Admission is free. For more information go to www.riverboatdays.com or download the Yankton Riverboat Days app from the Apple Store or Google’s Play Store.
Greene, a third-grade teacher at Yankton’s Lincoln Elementary School, has been teaching since 1999 and has been the Riverboat Days secretary since 2009. Prior to each Riverboat Days Greene does a lot of behind-the-scenes work and on Riverboat Days she can usually be found in the information booth.
Recently, Greene took a few moments out of her increasingly busy schedule to talk to the Press & Dakotan about being Riverboat Days secretary and some of the highlights of this year’s event.
How did you get involved with Riverboat Days?
It’s kind of a funny story. Some friends were on the board and they had been asking me for a long time to be the secretary. Anyway, we met at Fry’n Pan and the whole walk in, I was thinking, “I’m too busy I’m just going to say no if they ask me.” Then they did and I said, ‘OK.’ And here I am.
What does the Riverboat Days secretary do?
A little bit of everything. Basically, I check messages, call people back, email, but over the years, it has grown a little bit, which is good. You know, I hate to be bored. I do the schedule; I make sure flyers are correct; I do all the parking passes; I organize events; I call those who’ve been a part of Riverboat Days in the past and see if they want to do it again. It’s lots of organizing, lots of calling.
The Riverboat Days board is really good. They each have their niche or category, but if I can help, I certainly will. They are all good at doing their own categories, but then, because there are 12 different people, it makes sense that one person puts it all together.
I put a binder together so the announcers in the information booths can announce sponsors and events. If we have lost children, there are protocols for that. There’s lots of organizing so it makes sense that they all share their stuff with me and then I help if I can.
Everybody on the board has a full-time job and it works that I am a teacher because I have summers off — Riverboats Days’ busiest time. I can call during the day and organize the transit, things like that. It works.
What new events can we look forward to this year?
There’s BMX. Dialed Action Sports is a BMX team. They are bringing in some bikes and having some shows three times a day in the main parking lot at Riverside Park. The bands are new from last year, but they’ve been here before. Pop Rocks is Saturday. They are going to have a pyrotechnics show as part of their concert.
All our amphitheater acts are new, though there are a few throwbacks, like Sheltered Reality — they always come. They are a drumline group out of Iowa. The always come and they are so good.
There are lots of new little events, but lots of things that we repeat year after year because they are exciting and fun.
Also, we are making an app this year. It will be on Apple and Android and it’s called Yankton Riverboat Days. It will have food vendors; it will have art vendors; it will have their locations; it will have maps. You’ll be able to see sponsors, events; you can make a schedule, print it out and we can push reminders and notifications or you can set them for yourself.
What are some of the favorites that are returning to Riverboat Days this year?
The car show and Old Iron will have their tractor show. They will be there like always. The arts and crafts from Yankton Area Arts that fill up half the park, they are there. The Log Hogger is back and we’ve had Jason Stoner now for like three years in a row. He’s from Bear Hollow log carving and he’s really good, fun to work with, nice.
What’s your favorite thing about Riverboat Days?
That’s a bit of a tough one. From my end as secretary, when I am making phone calls to get citizens to fundraise with us, lately it’s usually an automatic “yes.” When I have stood in line with people, 10 people deep asking a business for money —and I totally get why they would say no, they are asked a lot — but Riverboat Days tends to be an automatic yes and it just makes me feel really good and relived because I know we’ve got a lot of support.
Activity wise, my favorite thing is just being in the park. I see people I haven’t seen in years. I see people I only see at Riverboat Days and all my friends volunteer and help me in my booth. It’s a good environment.
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