Editorial: We owe a debt to our festival boards

By Patric Hedlund

As I write this column today, and as you read it, there are people in the Mountain Communities who are hatching brilliant ideas at this very moment about how to make our mountain festivals this year the best ever.

There are people making plans for Lilac Festival—chalking out booth spaces, calling up kiddie ride owners, talking with food vendors and band managers.

The Lilac Festival parade managers are calling for participants in the first event of our annual festival season. And you know how much this mountain loves its parades. If you’re feeling silly and creative, grab an application and jump into the fun.

Fiesta Days is the wonderful three-day party tradition on the first weekend of August that defines summer for residents and former residents who come for reunions with dear old friends and stay to make new friends while listening to music and enjoying old-fashioned country fun. The Mountain Memories board works behind the scenes during much of the year to make this event a success.

Center of the World Festival has been active all year, preparing for its COWfest that celebrates the power of creativity, music and storytelling to mobilize social change.

The Chamber of Commerce is about to form a committee to make plans for the Festival of Lights parade and Holiday Faire. In between, there is the Ridge Route Run classic car event on Memorial Day weekend, Run to the Pines, two wine festivals and the Fall Festival in Pine Mountain Village. The Mountain Shakespeare Festival is another event with an honored track record, put on by creative volunteers. Local arts groups are developing an additional arts festival for August.

Festivals help power our local economy and sustain the local culture of the mountain. But it is hard work, often thankless.

Festival Board Members Are our ‘Smart Boards’ Guests of Honor
Festival board members will be our guests of honor for the “Smart Boards” Workshop Thursday, April 25, 7-9 p.m. at the Frazier Park Library. If you are on a festival board, or considering becoming a festival board member, please call today to save your spot (The Mountain Enterprise 245-3794; or email Editor@MountainEnterprise.com with subject line: Smart Boards).

$30-$60 in Bakersfield, a Free Gift to the Mountain
Putting together an effective board for a nonprofit organization—plus keeping board members functioning together as a dynamic team—is a behind-the-scenes science in which Steve Sanders is an expert.

This is a rare invitation coordinated by The Mountain Enterprise, the Friends of the Library and the Mountain Communities Chamber of Commerce. All nonprofit board members on the mountain—current or prospective—are invited to come to learn about the smart tools Sanders wants to bring to our community next week.

Sanders speaks from vigorous experience, as chief of staff for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ office, the director of CALM (California Living Museum), former director of United Way, four-time member of the Kern Community Foundation, and that is the short list. This is also his eighth year as adjunct lecturer at Cal State Bakersfield, teaching nonprofit management and grant writing.

Sanders insisted that the same workshop that 60 people in Bakersfield paid $30 to $60 to hear in February be made available to the Mountain Communities for free, next week, right here on the mountain. See you there!

This is part of the April 19, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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