Petitioning Oshkosh Common Council and 2 others

Save Sawdust Days

We are asking for your help to SAVE SAWDUST DAYS!

Over the past 40 years Sawdust Days has grown from a small community celebration to a five-day event that draws over 60,000 visitors annually and contributes millions of dollars of economic impact to the City. Despite the growth our board of all volunteers has stayed focused on keeping the event FREE for all. The goal has always been to celebrate our cities history, our nations independence, and add to the overall quality of life for Oshkosh residents.

Despite being a free event, Sawdust Days is able to produce a small profit most years which is primarily used for donations to local non-profit organizations and Veterans groups. In fact, Sawdust days is one of the primary sources of fundraising dollars for local veterans groups each year. In addition to charitable donations, Sawdust Days has used revenues to invest in improvements to the Menominee Park electrical infrastructure. In 2002 we spent over $34,000 dollars to upgrade the parks electrical grid. Our board elected to make this investment not only to improve the outdated power grid Sawdust Days relies on, but to give back the community we all call home.

Unfortunately, Sawdust Days is now in Danger of having to fold up the tents for good. After Decades of working in collaboration with the Oshkosh Common Council, Police Department and Parks Department to comply with regulations, focus on public safety, and meet any additional requests, it seems we no longer have a partner in our city government and elected officials.

From 2016 to 2017 the fee increases and special permit requirements will increase the cost of the event from $18,405.29 to over $58,140.00, an increase of over 200 % in one year!

Despite our efforts to request a reasonable resolution, such as a graduated increase of fees, offers to provide a private security force to lessen the burden on Oshkosh PD resources, or even just a one year exemption on a few of the new operating restrictions, it seems we no longer have a sympathetic ear.

Needless to say, after spending years donating our time to put on an event that has become a staple of the community our board and volunteers couldn’t be more disappointed…

We ask that you sign our petition to ask the Oshkosh Common Council, Oshkosh Parks Department and Oshkosh Police Department to reconsider their uncompromising stance on the absurd increase in fees imposed on Sawdust Days.

After 45 years, there must be a way for the EVENT CITY to work with an event that has never stopped working to make life in Oshkosh just a little bit more fun each summer.

The Sawdust Days Board is asking you to sign this petition in support of the following:

 1.     Fee Transparency – We request a transparent review to determine if all events of similar size and scope to Sawdust Days are subject to the same fees, restrictions and permitting requirements.

2.     Graduated Fee Increases – A 200% increase in operating expenses in one year is unsustainable for any event or organization, especially a free event that donates much of their profits annually.

3.     Ask the Police Chief to review the fees assessed to Sawdust Days for 2017 and determine ways to decrease required OPD resources and associated fees.

 4.     Review the waivers not granted after 30 years of these requests having been acceptable to the Special Events Committee.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Oshkosh Common Council
  • Oshkosh Parks Department
  • Oshkosh Police Department

    Oshkosh Sawdust Days started this petition with a single signature, and now has 812 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.




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