We continue to celebrate the launch of A Sticky Situation by Jessie! In the Sugar Grove, New Hampshire, the Greene family—including Dani’s irksome Aunt Hazel—are busy preparing for the annual Maple Festival. But nothing kills the festive spirit like murder…
So Wickeds have you ever helped set up a festival? Do you have a favorite one?
Liz: I’ve never done a big festival like the Maple Festival, but last year I was part of a very cool Tea and Art Fair–an indoor wellness festival. It was fun to see the event come together and meet like-minded people. And thankfully, no one was murdered!
Julie: I have never set up a festival, but I have been part of organizing a few theater festivals in my day. There could be a cozy series on festivals alone. In fact, there probably is one! It is great to see like minds coming together for a shared purpose, as Liz said. But then there’s the egos. NEVER a dull experience.
Edith: Not festivals, but I have helped organize conferences, something Barb and Julie know quite a lot about with their experience co-chairing the New England Crime Bake. I worked on a couple of academic conferences long ago, and they included much wrangling of difficult egos. I’m excited to be on a panel at the Newburyport Literary Festival with Liz and Jessie at the end of April, with Leigh Perry (Toni L.P. Kelner) moderating. It’s a fabulous all-day festival, and this year I’ll be an author instead of an attendee. Honored.
Jessie: Every year my village holds a Fourth of July parade which culminates in activities in the park like performances by local bands and treats for the kids. One year the Friends of the Library organization put on a soda tasting. All the sodas were from local companies and the event was such fun. Participants bought a glass as a fundraiser for the library and used it to try samples of as many different soda flavors as they liked. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of happy kids there that day. One of my personal favorites was the Maple Cream soda by Squamscot Beverage Company.
Sherry: I haven’t ever organized a festival but I’ve attend some memorable ones around the country as we moved from place to place. The Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, Ohio — our daughter had just turned three and kept her fingers up her nose the entire time we were there because it was stinky. Stinky, yes, but the food was delicious — even the sauerkraut fudge. The National Book Festival in DC — I’ve been able to hear so many fabulous authors talk about their books. And though it’s small the Apple Festival in Bedford, Massachusetts is always a good time.
Barb: I’ve never organized a festival, either. But I did get to “research” a few. Boiled Over ($1.99 for the ebook this month, btw) takes place over a fictional Founder’s Day Weekend in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. It is very, very loosely based on two festivals in Boothbay Harbor–The Fisherman’s Festival and Windjammer Days. Also to research Boiled Over, my husband and I traveled to the Wild Blueberry Festival in Machias, Maine. Oh, the sacrifices I make for my art!
Readers: Do you have a favorite festival or have you ever organized one?
My friends and I organized the first Native American students powwow at Harvard. It was very small and was intended to be a demonstration of what some traditional powwows might be like. We wanted to show something different from the big competitive powwows with standardized categories of dances and showmanship.
We invited vendors and dancers, a drum and found the closest location we could to the site of the Indian College that existed from 1655-1670. https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/2011 Native student groups from across the campus chose a focus as their contribution to the days’s events. My school’s group silk screened tee shirts with ancient pottery designs. We sold them as a fundraiser for the group. The museum of archaeology and ethnology gave us space in the basement for our project. It was a little scary down there, so we worked very fast the first night when we realized it might get dark out before we finished. I think we all had a history with the museum and were very aware of being surrounded by… mm… troublesome to be around many things that the collectors usually called “artifacts.”
The powwow grew each year and became a little more contemporary, although I’m not sure if they’ve kept it up. The Native American program at Harvard changed from sponsorship by the School of Education to the Kennedy School of Government. I think it was the best move at that time, but I don’t know what direction our various projects took after the move.
Sounds like you started a great tradition, Reine.
My favorite festival is the annual pumpkin festival held in Chillicothe, Ohio. It features parades, giant pumpkin judging (the annual winners usually weigh over 1000# — that’s a lot of pumpkin pie!), and pumpkin foods from soup to ice cream.
Shelly Freydont writes a cozy series based in an upstate New York town that has its economy based in putting on festivals throughout the year. Fun series.
I missed the pumpkin festival when we lived in Ohio! Ohio people love a good festival though — there were so many to go to! I’ll look for Shelly’s books — it sounds like a fun series!
Damariscotta, the next town up from Boothbay, and the town where I am headed for a library talk tomorrow, has a marvelous pumpkin festival. There are elaborately decorated pumpkins all up and down the main street, some quite amazing.
I’ve read the first two of Shelly’s series, and I enjoyed them. Book three is on my TBR pile for July before book four is released in September.
I have never organized a festival. I’m not an organized person, so everyone is thankful for that.
The only one I regularly visit is the LA Times Festival of Books, which is coming in a week and a half. It’s not quite what it used to be, but it’s still a fun day of chatting with authors and fellow readers.
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