For 23 years, Kirk Works has led the Swiss Wine Festival.
When he became President of the festival as part of the Vevay-Switzerland County Lions Club in 1995, the festival was still in the middle of Vevay, and what would become the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park was just a blossoming dream in the hearts and minds of the community.
Nearly a quarter of a century later, the Swiss Wine Festival is one of the best festivals in the state of Indiana; and the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park serves as a beautiful gateway to the Vevay community for a river filled with visitors.
And Kirk Works played a huge role in both.
Along with having served as the President of the festival; Works also served a term on the Vevay Town Council; and also served for several years on the Vevay Park Board. In all of those capacities, his mindset has always been sharing the Vevay community with everyone.
Now, as Works battles cancer, on Monday afternoon a group of festival volunteers, community boards, and others joined Vevay Town Council members Keith Smith, Joe Spilman, and Dawn Ossman in saying ‘Thank You’.
Lafayette Street, which runs parallel with the Ohio River in the park, and is the street that is home to the food vendors during the Swiss Wine Festival, has been named “Kirk Works Way” as a way of expressing appreciation from the community.
“We want to rename this street in honor of Kirk Works,” Council President Smith said on Monday afternoon. “For the work he’s done for the park, the town, and the festival. The work he’s done tirelessly for the festival has not only helped the festival, but it’s made this park what it is today. This park wasn’t here when he started with the festival, and the work that he’s put in to raising money; the work for electric, for sewer, for water, has all went in to making this part the beautiful place that it is today.”
In all of that, Smith said that he could think of no one more deserving of the honor than Works.
“That much time and dedication and service to the community,” Smith continued. “Not just the festival, the festival’s a lot of it, but in trade the work he did for the festival also brings in thousands of people every year to this county and to this park.”
Smith said that the street, until now known as Lafayette Street, can’t officially be changed until the town goes through the formal process – which he believes will be finalized at the town council’s March meeting -but he can’t imagine anyone finding fault or having an objection to renaming the street.
“We have to send out letters to all of the adjoining landowners, which there’s only a couple,” Smith said. “The landowners are on the ends of the street. The street actually goes all the way across to the east one block past Washington, as far as what it shows on the map, but it’s not really there.”
Works was not able to attend Monday’s dedication, but for those who were there, there was an overwhelming spirit of appreciation for all that he has done for the community; and the renaming of a street was a small token of trying to express that appreciation.