Nickle Dickle Day is a day for community pride in Waconia

By Kellie Sites

What is Nickle Dickle Day? Nickle Dickle Day means something different to everyone!
As the Chamber President, it means business for our businesses. For most of our shops, bars and restaurants downtown, this is the most profitable day of the year. As the leader of our Tourism efforts, it means 25,000 people enjoying Waconia, and hopefully coming back to visit.
Many people move here after attending Nickle Dickle Day!
It is also my hope that people who already live here explored our downtown and all that it has to offer.
There are always highlights for me. This year a highlight was the extra exposure we got from WCCO, along with the fun of the Nickle Dickle Pickle Contest. Many thanks to Andrea Doty, the manager of the Waconia Farmer’s Market, for helping with that – along with Craig Sharp and Tracy LeTourneau who insisted that it was a good idea. Back in the day, there were fruit and vegetable competitions on the sidewalks and in business – I liked bringing a piece of that back to this 52 year old event.
Thank you Pickle Pickers: Mary Sjodin, Johnny Melchert, Craig Sharp, Eric Wentling, Samantha Sharp and Grace Clos.
Another highlight was just watching the teamwork that was created in the pop booth as each new shift worked their magic.
I love seeing our high school kids working hard and having fun! I need to give a shout out to Sam Schiffman and Kevin Kittleson for four hours of non-stop pop lifting!
The Pop Booth was taken to a new level this year with the help of Tim “Jonesy” Hukriede … and I must give a special thanks to Judy and Brian Koch of Koch Bus Company who gave years of effort to make the Pop Booth what it is today.
Funny how certain things bring a tear to my eye, okay, that’s not hard with me … but it was so fun to award the Medallion Clue Finder Plaque and $200 to Jason and Lloyd Graupmann.
Jason told me that he was going to hang his plaque over his bar, so proud to have found it after 12 years of searching! Many people shared their stories of searching for the medallion. Good luck next year!
I love hearing stories of people getting together for the day, getting in shape for a run, rolling egg rolls to sell … it’s such a special day for me … and Waconia. Thank you, Bill Sites, for spending two days managing garbage cans and porta potties.
Thank you Committee: Becky Larsen, Tiffany Nelson, Dave Philp, Mike Keaveny, Heidi Hoks, Terri Dammann, Summer Jensen, Mark Tetrault, Craig Eldred and Jan Held.
Thank you, Carmen Gesinger, for your tireless enthusiasm for this day, too! Thank you Chamber Members for all the support – because without you, there would be no Chamber … and I’m proud to lead the efforts of so many people that make Nickle Dickle Day what it is today.

Kellie Sites is the president of the Waconia Chamber of Commerce.