A Number of years ago I wrote a Blog about community based events. The Blog was appropriate then and it is still appropriate now. I am re-posting this Blog now in two parts.
Most festivals and events are community based. As such, they give whole communities the chance to come together and show off their town to visitors.
Festivals and events not only make residents proud, they are just good business! Think of the economic impact. Festival visitors eat in community restaurants, stay in community accommodations, enjoy community attractions and purchase goods in community retail stores. If visitors like the festival community they come back and bring their friends and the cycle begins again. And, if they really like the community, they may come back to live there. Community supported festivals and events have the domino effect, so how does an organizing committee ensure maximum community involvement and, thus the benefits of that involvement?
Here are a few thoughts based on 5 Ontario community based festivals ~
International Plowing Match 2016 (Huron County-Walton)
This was a one-time event that pulled together a number of communities and groups into one cohesive unit. Although there were no large towns close by, the IPM organizing committee was able to attract volunteers and financial support from all the communities in Leeds-Grenville! It was a Herculean task that took over 3 years to achieve, but the end result was nothing short of spectacular! All the communities involved were enriched by the experience.
Winona Peach Festival
The food section of this festival is almost completely manned and operated by various community groups, church committees, sports associations and service clubs. The food that they serve and the presentation of their respective booths far surpasses most commercial food served at other events, and, the beauty of this community involvement is that the money stays in the community to help the community!