SUMMER FEVER: Seymour Fever Fest Brings Good Vibes For an Even Better Cause
revived just a few years ago, Seymour Fever Fest is swingin’ into its third year
The thousands-of-attendees music festivals are a wild whirlwind of fun – and the Chippewa Valley isn’t suffering any shortage of ’em – but there’s something about a community-wide hangout with tasty grub, a good ol’ game of kickball, and up-close, live music that you just can’t beat. Thanks to the Seymour Ball Club, folks will be able to have all that and more at Seymour Fever Fest.
Slated for Aug. 26 at the club’s field, 6500 Tower Drive, Fever Fest is bringing musical acts such as country artists Phil Vassar and Jerrod Niemann, classic games like donkey ball and a corn hole tournament, plus a kid’s zone with giant inflatables, and the Fever Fest Frenzy ball tournament. There will be several food trucks, too, including Ne-Ne’s Tacos and Olson’s Ice Cream, plus beverages for purchase. Come one, come all: Fever Fest is the place to be!
Perhaps the most impressive part of Fever Fest, though, is that it’s fully organized by the Seymour Ball Club: a local nonprofit organization that is 100% volunteer-led. The Ball Club has nearly 300 kids in its leagues, which include girls fast pitch, boys baseball, and travel leagues.
“You ask anyone on the board why we do this: it’s all about the kids.”
president of seymour ball club
Jason Woodford, the club’s president, said there are about 10 boys travel teams and 12 girls travel teams, aside from those playing in the regular leagues. Kids from Eau Claire, Augusta, Menomonie, Fall Creek, and more play for the club, bringing families throughout the Chippewa Valley together.
“You ask anyone on the board why we do this: it’s all about the kids,” Woodford said. “It’s about getting kids involved, giving them a good experience for them to have fun, and learn the game. Our club really has a big family feel; we’re in this together and everybody chips in.”
Woodford has headed the nonprofit for more than a decade, but before that, he was part of the leagues as a kid – back when his own father was president. His earliest memories of Fever Fest were in those days, and it started out as an end-of-the-year get together, just for folks in the Ball Club. Fever Fest was retired prior to Woodford becoming part of the club’s leadership.
“They hadn’t done Fever Fest for probably 10-15 years. When I came back, it was always something I felt would be cool to do again,” he said. And the reason for Fever Fest’s revival? Once again: the kids.
With six fields, the Seymour Ball Club gets a ton of playtime, but they haven’t seen an upgrade in some time. The nonprofit is hoping to raise enough money through events such as Fever Fest and its tournaments to fund a new field and bathroom facilities.
“I thought, ‘Let’s bring Fever Fest back and make it bigger, better, and raise money to build that new field,’ ” Woodford explained.
The current bathroom facilities include one men’s and one women’s bathroom. The men’s bathroom has one urinal and one stall; the women’s bathroom has two stalls. When there are up to six games going at once and spectators for each, the bathrooms do not support all in attendance, so the Ball Club has to rent port-a-potties. If the bathroom is updated, it will also need a new septic system, Woodford said.
New bathroom facilities would require about $700,000, while a new field would be roughly three quarters of a million dollars. “We just don’t have $2 million,” Woodford said.
However, he is hopeful the organization will be able to complete the bathrooms project this winter using the last handful of years’ worth of savings from Fever Fest’s revival and regular league fees. “It’s nowhere near what we need in full, but we have enough to have a solid plan and apply for grants.”
The fun-for-all Fever Fest activities get started on Friday, Aug. 25, with that day’s festivities free to attend. Saturday will feature headlining music artists as well as another day of ball games, food trucks, and community. At just $22 for general admission and $50 for VIP seating, this is one of the can’t-miss community events of the summer – all for a good cause.
- General Admission: $22 (standing room and personal lawn chairs allowed)
- VIP Standing: $36 (up-front VIP standing area)
- VIP Seated: $50 (reserved seating area, chairs provided)
*Ticket prices will increase on June 30
Visit Fever Fest’s website to purchase tickets and keep up with the Seymour Ball Club on Facebook and its website.