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FVA considers new activities

Some new activities are being considered for the 2014 season at the Frontier Village.

The Frontier Village Association began its review Thursday of suggestions of new activities for next year.

Frontier Village Manager Colleen Conley presented a list of ideas for events at the village with cost estimates for each event.

In all, Conley is requesting $21,175 for the different items in the proposed budget. The association is also considering pay increases for the village’s maintenance staff and greeters. The association will have a complete list of proposed raises for each position at its Jan. 9 meeting.

Charlie Tanata, association president, said the association members should remember they are funded primarily by grants administered through the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation, funded by local hotel and restaurant use tax revenues. He said any increase in spending the association proposes has to be backed up with facts supporting the need for the increase.

For 2013 Frontier Village received $33,546 from the BCTF for staffing and $11,700 for the care of animals used for the stagecoach ride at the village. 

Conley included Pioneer Days, an established event, in a list of possible events for 2014, with a suggestion to establish “Children’s Days” two days a month during the summer. Children’s Days could include events like having a story time, nursery rhyme day, crazy dog name contest, ugly shirt contest, tea with a princess and square dancing.

Conley assigned a cost of $2,000 for Children’s Days, $3,000 for Pioneer Days and $5,000 for the World Fast Draw Association shooting contest.

Frontier Village hosted a fast draw shooting event in August. Conley said the event wasn’t well attended, but village association members said they want to try it again next year and see if they can get a local fast draw club going to drum up more interest in the event.

Conley also included $2,025 for different contests the association would host during the village’s season, which runs from Memorial Day through the first week in October. Conley suggested contests for photography, poetry, Elvis Presley impersonators and others.

“I don’t know if these (suggestions) all will work, but I think we need to try new things,” she said.

The association approved Conley’s request to buy a pedal car-type toy fire engine and place a plaque on it honoring Bert Gray, the association’s former treasurer, who died earlier this year. The fire engine and plaque will be displayed at the fire hall in the village.

Conley also asked the association for a $2,000 discretionary fund. Conley said there were times over the summer she could’ve saved time by purchasing a small item needed at the village, but didn’t have any village funds available to do so. Any use of these funds would be documented and mentioned in Conley’s monthly report to the association.

She asked for $4,300 for radio and print media advertising as well.

In other business, the association supported having the Wild West Players visit kindergarten classes in Jamestown schools to pass out small gift bags with Santa Claus. The visit will likely take place sometime next week if possible.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454