Volunteer Voices: Volunteers Always Needed at Door County Festivals

There is never a shortage of special events going on in Door County. You can fill almost any weekend attending or volunteering at various festivals.

I sat down with Paige Funkhouser, the new marketing and promotions director of the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center & Convention Bureau, and we talked about what it takes to run a special event.

We discussed in detail what it takes to plan and run an event such as the annual Fine Art Fair in Sturgeon Bay (this year’s event takes place May 28-29 at Sunset Park). Paige commented that planning begins as soon as the previous year’s event ends. Organizers get together and discuss what went well and what can be improved upon. Artists are contacted to gauge their interest in returning and suggestions and comments are received from the participants. Food and equipment vendors are given next year’s dates.

It’s not all glamourous running an event, but it’s rewarding. A person often has to swallow their pride and do whatever it takes to get the venue prepared: “Putting an event together involves fine details – we do everything from picking up goose poop, washing your hands, and the next minute talking to deep-pocket donors and world-class artists,” Paige said. They do what they have to do to put on a successful event and provide a fun experience for those attending.

Planning and working at an event takes many people and volunteers are essential in many stages of the event. Volunteers are often used before the event even takes place, such as contacting donors who are so important to helping an event occur. There are many ways to get involved with an event without working at the actual event.

Greeters and balloon makers at the Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair. Submitted.

Greeters and balloon makers at the Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair. Submitted.

There are tasks for people of all ages, in particular at the Fine Art Fair. Volunteers are used to help run the children’s activities (this is a great opportunity for teens), sitting at a booth while an artist takes a break, and working in the raffle tent. All-in-all about 25 volunteers help at the Fine Art Fair.

There are many different events throughout the year that need your help. Find an event that interests you and works with your schedule. Encourage a friend or relative to volunteer alongside you – this makes your time spent volunteering even more enjoyable. The special events that are held throughout the year all over the county are just one of the things that make Door County so unique. These events rely on volunteers to be successful. Consider helping out at an event – it’s a fun, rewarding experience. For a calendar of events, check, or


To search for volunteer opportunities throughout Door County, visit the Volunteer Center’s website,, or call 920.746.7704.


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