City holds Deskey light dedication
More than a hundred people gathered at the Gazebo Park in downtown Blue Earth on Saturday to help dedicate the Donald Deskey New York City street light in the park.
“It is a pretty good turnout,” Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce executive director Cindy Lyon says. “We were happy with the number of people who showed up.”
The Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event which included a meal and several speakers.
Blue Earth native Al Eisele, the editor of The Hill in Washington, D.C., was the keynote speaker.
Eisele was the person responsible for acquiring the street light and having it shipped to Blue Earth.
“When I saw the Deskey lights being replaced in New York, I enquired as to whether I could have one for the town where Donald Deskey was born,” Eisele says. “They graciously gave me one.”
Then it was a matter of having the massive item shipped to Blue Earth.
Once here, Lyon went to work to get the light erected and electrified.
“We had a lot of folks involved in the project,” she told the crowd on Saturday. “The city and Blue Earth Light and Water were both involved.”
So was the Faribault County Historical Society, which arranged for the plaque at the base of the light. Blue Earth Monument donated the marker.
Special guests at the Saturday dedication ceremony were two employees of the Deskey Company.
Chief creative officer and a partner in the firm, Doug Sovonick and account executive Michael Buescher made the trip from company headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend the ceremony. “We decided we wanted to be here for it,” they said, “And to represent the company and our founder, Donald Deskey.”
The two men flew in on Friday night and flew back to Ohio on Saturday night.
Besides attending the ceremony, they also had a tour of the town, the Green Giant statue and Green Giant Museum.
And, thanks to local historian A.B. Russ, they were able to see the house at 123 Linton Street where Donald Deskey grew up.
“We both really wanted to see the town where our mentor and company founder grew up,” they said. “Although neither of us ever met him, we have heard a lot about him and have many items of his.”
They also say his influence is strong at Deskey Branding, the official name of the company.
“I?have been taught by people he taught,” Sovonick says. “We still carry on with many of the things he started. We still have Proctor-Gamble as one of our largest clients.”
Also speaking at Saturday’s event was Chuck Hunt, Faribault County Register, who related a history of Deskey’s life.
Chamber director Lyon dedicated the new Harpy’s Popcorn Stand, which is located in the park.
The original stand was run by the Harpestad family and stood on the corner of Sixth and Main. The current stand is the former ticket booth used by the chamber when Christmas Wonderland was operated a the fairgrounds.