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BELTANE FESTIVAL 2013

Scottish American Society

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Click here for link to photos by Dave Belvin

The Beltane Festival was WONDERFUL !!
 
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 events.
 
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 absolutely beautiful. 
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 and Bill 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 House 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 even better.