Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Twin Towers Appalachian Festival

My third visit to the Appalachian Festival off of Xenia Avenue.

I can visualize this being developed into a larger neighborhood festival like the ones I remember from Louisville. There, smaller neighborhood festivals became draws for people from all over the city and suburbs, and grew to citywide events. One could say the other Appalachian festival in town, Mountain Days, is this kind of event, but It’s a pay-event, which I disagree with. City or community festivals should be free to the public, without admission charge.

It seems the basics for a great neighborhood festival in Twin Towers are there, even though the site is somewhat stark. The location is the parking lots of the East End Community Service, which isn't too pleasant, though the twin towers of St Mary's provides a great backdrop.

The festival usually has a good bluegrass band on the playbill, and they could perhaps bring in more of this kind of entertainment (such as Anne & Phil Case, who do trad pre-bluegrass music).
This year they have a clogging group and the Sol Azteca dancers returned. Sol Azteca is a cool addition to the local scene, reflecting the growing Mexican community here, and are based out of this neighborhood, too. Maybe some more Latino stuff, like a mariachi band.

There is supposed to be a Mexican population coming in here, but they don't show up much at this or other festivals. The immigrants' thing is their soccer meets on Sundays up at a park up near Wyoming & Steve Whalen. I figure since a lot might be illegals, they want to keep a low profile.

I also noticed this time the fest had more crafts tables set, up bringing in some new vendors. This could be developed a bit more, perhaps. I wonder if the local quilting society (I think they are called the Miami Valley Quilters?) could be persuaded to show here, or they could bring in some craftspeople who are based in KY, WVA, or TENN, or even Appalachian Ohio. Or local businesses in the neighborhood can set up, like Smales Pretzels running a sales table. Perhaps the festival can grown beyond the confines of the East End Community services and extend out onto Xenia Avenue a bit, around St Mary's.

Yet this is just my daydream for this event. In reality it is just a neighborhood thing, similar to a parish carnival, but without the carnival rides (which they should try to get). So it is not really going to get much larger or draw from outside the neighborhood, except for the odd music fan such as myself.

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