Blueberry Festival parking helps fund Plymouth HS clubs
PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- The Marshall County Blueberry Festival may have ended Monday, but the funds raised by parking for the event help fund student clubs at Plymouth High School throughout the school year.
“I’m in the theater program and the speech program,” Plymouth High School junior Katy Smith said. “So this brings most of our money for our shows and for our transportation to our tournaments.”
Smith was greeting drivers as they came to park in Lot A for the Blueberry Festival on Monday.
This is her fourth year of parking patrol, but she said it’s something she and her classmates are happy to do each year.
“You do it because it brings in a lot of money for your clubs,” she said.
You pay $8 to park in one of the high school’s two lots.
Students guide you through the twists and turns, and in turn, their school clubs and organizations get half of the money raised.
Plymouth High School speech teacher David McKenzie has run the festival parking for the last 17 years.
“For the groups that really have difficulty raising money – like we can’t charge gate at various sporting events or events like that – this becomes the way that we actually fund the programs throughout the year,” he said.
McKenzie said at least 50,000 to 60,000 cars come through for the 4-day festival each year, which usually earns Plymouth students between $20,000 and $30,000 for their clubs.
“It’s really a privilege that we get to do this because other schools have to fundraise the whole year and we just get parking, and that’s pretty much it,” Smith said.
The high school boy’s baseball team also got involved this year.
They sold water and charged admission to use the restrooms at their field if festivalgoers didn’t want to use the portable toilets.
Though the Blueberry Festival closed a few hours early on Monday because of rain, McKenzie said the parking lots were packed for most of the weekend.