Highland News Leader

Horstmann stepping aside as Kirchenfest chairman, offers gratitude for all event volunteers

Highland News Leader

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The Highland News Leader serves readers in Highland.

Serving as chairman of the St. Paul Kirchenfest truly has been a labor of love for Joe Horstmann.

His time as chairman, however, is coming to a close. The 49th annual Kirchenfest takes place Friday-Sunday, and this one marks Horstmann’s fourth and final year in this role.

“One of the big challenges is the size of the event, and just trying to keep your hands on every facet of the event as big as it is,” Horstmann said. “There are so many things happening at once. It can be challenging trying to make sure you are involved in other things people are chairing.”

Horstmann said delegating poses challenges, too.

“Trusting the people in charge of the bigger portions of the event, kind of letting go and trusting those individuals is kind of a big thing to challenge yourself with,” he said. “And managing relationships, that’s a big one. Making sure there’s transparency and the ability to have clear communication and making sure everyone gets along is very important.”

Overall, Horstmann said Kirchenfest has more than 1,000 volunteers. And, he said, words cannot express the appreciation he has for each volunteer.

“The volunteer effort we have is enormous,” he said.” We could not do it without them. They are invaluable. The event could not happen without people who have dedicated themselves to the church. I can’t name one person because they all work collectively. They are donating their time from the day it is over until it starts the next year. You can’t even quantify it.”

Furthermore, as he embarks on his final Kirchenfest as chairman, Horstmann reiterated his gratefulness.

“Honestly, after a four-year commitment, I want to thank everybody that’s been involved. The encompassing message is the gratitude toward them,” he said.