The Beltane Festival was
There just are no words to sufficiently express how super it actually was.
Due to the efforts of so many, including whoever arranged that perfect weather,
our transition to the new venue was thoroughly successful. I'd like to see more
attendance next year, but I strongly suspect that will take care of itself via
word of mouth. (Don't get me wrong, the attendance was probably about equal to
the former location.) Almost everyone who attended said it was a perfect place
to hold our event. We definitely saw more families there, and that's what we
wanted to be from the start - a family festival celebrating the Celtic Arts.
And that isn't just Scotland, but all of the Celtic Nations.
I'm going to attempt to thank a few folks, but I know there will be someone
I'll miss. If so, please forgive. There must have been a hundred involved in
the planning and execution of our biggest event of the year. I can't start
without acknowledging Frances Acar. She's a bundle of energy. Her
organizational talent and just plain hard work make it all possible. This year
she had able assistance from Alex Murray and his "press gang" of
relatives. Thanks to: The Meyer Clan (MacDonald Sept) Bill, Nancy and Christy,
Jim & Kathy, Jay & Theresa, Chris & Kristen all did sterling work at
the bar, providing security and radio communications as well as being on hand
for anything else that was needed. An outstanding contribution at their first
Beltane and here’s hoping we will see them at many future SASy related
Applause and many thanks to Al Bollas, Mayor of the City of New
Franklin. We couldn't have managed without his help. Jim and Laura of the Tudor
House were there, cheerfully making sure everything went well. Chris Stoll
helped orient us to how things worked and where stuff was located at
Tudor House. Thank you all.
Big thank you to Joe Nicholls and Kevin McGinty for their efforts in
getting the word out. Russ and Kenny Luyster lend magic to the occasion with
their strong arms, handsome presence and wise-cracks. Bob and Jim
Morehead managed the sound and have since our "SOS" at our first festival nine
years ago. I absolutely do not know what we'd do without these guys. Heather
MacNaughton is another one who was present from the start and was present once
again last Saturday - to our great relief and delight.
Thanks to Bruce Carpenter and Jim Seikel who arranged for parking and
signage at Portage Lakes State Park.
The brawny lads and lively lassies who help set up and take down are more
than just handsome faces. Larry Hunter is one guy who is always there when
needed. He's one of those folks who quietly rolls up his sleeves and gets the
job done. Chuck Seeley is another one like Larry. Thank you both. Several of
the folks who helped live in New Franklin and the surrounding Portage Lakes
communities. This is a wonderful, cooperative area and another reason to be
grateful we moved our event here. These folks pitch in when asked. Dave Belvin
put together our dance floor (he built it in the first place) despite the fact
that it required a whole different configuration. Brian McElhinney, our
official Scottish American Society piper (did everyone see his photo in the
Akron Beacon Journal today?) helps in myriad ways. Jayson and Amy Barrington
cheerfully assisted whenever asked.
Liz and Dave Belvin put together the basket auction (every single penny
raised goes to Pegasus) with the donations all of you contributed. They were
Dave and Dianne Allison ran the Membership/Hospitality table and generated
lots of interest and new memberships. Welcome to all who joined that day, hope
you enjoy being part of our Sas'y Family.
A special heartfelt thanks to Pam Russell and Judy Hunter who worked like
troopers in the "Tea Room". Poor Judy was enjoying a quiet day at home when
Larry called and let her know she was needed. She was there within minutes. As
most of you know, Larry & Judy have been members for many years. Pam - I
could not have managed the kitchen chores without you.
Gene and Betty Marcus always help with the planning and organizational
stages and handled the ticket sales all day without complaint. Kim Belvin and
Emma Tidwell ran the entrance gate with relief from some of Alex's press gang
and Bob Hawes.
Thanks so much to Craig and Donne Shepperly - also in on the set up and
take down, the planning, the clan tents, the organization - always with a smile
and a few mischievous comments. Christy Walsh has brought her dancers from the
start and Tim organizes the children's games. You guys are just great.
John Snodgrass and his wife, Cynde Kennedy helped with set up. Ann
Heflin - always helpful in so many ways. Though Bill & Julie Kennedy,
together with Kona and Kathi Gant had to be elsewhere that day, they certainly
were helpful in working with all the arrangements that have to be made ahead of
time. This festival is a full year in planning and mobilizing to get ready.
Shay Harvey helped throughout the day and David McIntosh worked the Latham
Lane gate all day. Thanks especially to Himself. Jim Frost. Always a
trooper. He helps in every aspect. (And puts up with me in the meantime.) No
wonder I love him so much. Thanks to Will Acar, who got drafted for chores
before, during, and after the event. Husbands are great back-up.
Thanks to Morris and Joy Dingman who have faithfully brought their
beautiful cars to our events. They always generate interest and give
information. Thanks to Cynde Kennedy who brought her stunning art work for
display inside Tudor House. It gave an elegant ambience to our tea area -
together with colorful table cloths and flowers.
Thanks to all the entertainers. They performed magnificently. Thanks
to the dancers and singers, the "waulkers," fiddlers, pipers, harpers, the
highland athletes, and food preparers. Thanks to the Sassy Dog lady, and Jim
Henderson who delivered the meat pies from his shop in Parma.
It was a wonderful day. The massed bands marching up the Tudor
driveway - a real show stopper. I'm sure there wasn't a single heart left
unaffected. Wow. Just wow.
If you missed it, I'm so sorry. But we'll be back next year
and it will be