Summer Arts - Press

“What Happened to ‘Summer Arts Fair?”

To the Editor:

I know I must be some kind of nostalgic idiot, yearning for the past, and every complaining about how those festivals are getting progressively  more boring. In my opinion they are indeed. I remember the first Summer Arts Fair to in 1981. 

It was very exciting then. There were small pockets of people congregating, drumming, dancing, making music, etc etc. Of course, there were also all the arts and crafts booths, all scanned to be sure their arts and/or crafts were indeed that, and more or less local. 

I remember the people involved in judging the entrants into the fair to use fairly strict criteria regarding the origin of the arts and/or crafts for sale. One couldn’t just put up anything for sale, because the purpose of the fair was to celebrate our local arts and crafts, and not necessarily always to sell it. 

Some simply were not for sale, because they were either spontaneous, or staged happenings, not for sale for any price, indeed priceless! Now, this 1993 “Arts and Crafts Festival” is the antithesis of these memories of the earlier ‘Fairs” that were indeed festivals, not because that’s what they were billed as, but because that’s wat people, then, made them. I walked around a few times, saw very limited local arts and crafts, and a lot of commercial stuff, very unattractive most of it….”

Excerpt from letter to the Editor, Life and Times, Willy Van Doom, Redway, 1993. 

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