Monday, May 23, 2011

Reviving a dying tradition

Saturday my town held its 24th annual Seafood Festival (just for fun try to figure out which one I'm talking about). However unless you live in town, grew up here, or have family here you more than likely would not have known about it (no I'm not trying to establish my hipster street cred, you really more than likely have never heard of it). Thing is this festival has been in a pretty steady decline over the last 10 years or so.

You see like almost any community we are burdened with that situation in which a few people make all the decisions on this festival and they are more interested in looking out for themselves than looking our for the town. What does that get us? You end up with booth rent so high that you're lucky to get more than 20 or so vendors selling wares, which leads to a small turnout. You end up with maybe 5-9 vendors selling food, meaning the choices are pretty much the same. Oh but don't think that all that is seafood, what makes you think that? Oh yeah it is called the Seafood Festival who cares about that when a few select vendors (two to be exact) are given a monopoly on selling seafood? Yes its called a seafood festival but there are only TWO places in the whole joint where you can buy seafood. WTF?

I remember 15 or so years ago when it was about the town and not everyone trying to look out for self. This was a time when the festival started on Friday evening around 6pm and ran until about 11pm (just to whet the appetite) and then really kicked off on Saturday running from about 8am until the end of the street dance at almost midnight. But nowadays it goes down from 9am to about 6pm on Saturday and the "street dance" has become a concert held in an open lot next to one of our local restaurants (and went from free to $10 a head).

I'm just venting for the most part but in reality I do want to do something about it. Now I just have to figure out how to get my foot in the door on this committee that plans it out and hopefully inject some new ideas. But despite it being a small town it is notoriously hard to get in on this stuff. Why? Because this thing has been held in the grip of a select few for so long you damn near have to be related to someone on he inside to even know when its going down.