Fest 2011: Closing Weekend and Post-Fest Reflections

Closing weekend was, as usual, bittersweet. I had a lot of fun, tons of hugs, and I left feeling satisfied, lonely, conflicted, relieved, happy, and sad.

First, a recap. Closing weekend is one of the two three-day weekends (the other is Labor Day weekend) because Fest is open on Friday for school groups to visit. I’d never been out there on Fest Friday before because I always have work and have never wanted to take a day off for it before, but I did this year and my spouse and I went out there and took the dog. There weren’t any other members of our troupe out, so we really didn’t have to do anything… I played a few songs on my flute, but other than that we just did some shopping and wandering around. A lot of kids wanted to pet the dog, so that was fine.

The big news on Friday, though, was the fire. It luckily happened early in the morning, around 6:30, and people were sleeping on site and woke up and called the fire department. It started in one of the food booths, and spread and destroyed 5 other booths. So Fest opened an hour late on Friday, and about a quarter of the grounds were fenced off for the investigation.

If it had to happen, it was the best possible time—if it had been the day before, it would have been much worse because we had 35mph winds, plus there would have been fewer people on site so it might have spread more. If it had been the next day, it would have affected Saturday, which is a much bigger attendance/sales day and would have been really bad for the shops in the fenced-off area.


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