What is it about a festival that brings loads of people out to walk around in the hot sun and eat things that obviously don't fit in their waist-trimming diets? I don't know the answer to that, but I wish I did.
I wish I could capture the spirit of the small town festival and reproduce it in a lab to manufacture and sell. It's just too bad most people only use the natural version of it once or twice a year; it's something we could use a lot more of.
One of those times took place this past weekend at Dearing's second annual Mayfest. Once again the event was huge. Even late into the afternoon when festivals usually dwindle down to nothing, crowds kept hanging around, enjoying the atmosphere.
Shade, ice cream and picnic tables were at a premium, but that didn't stop droves of people from spending part of their Saturday gathered in the small town. I take it people enjoyed the first version of the festival enough to come back and bring a friend.
When it comes down to it, that's what these festivals are all about. Walking around, I stopped to talk to people I hadn't seen in a while as well as people I talk to on a regular basis.
The group that organizes the Mayfest worked hard all year for that one day's event. As a Dearing resident, I'm glad they continue to feel that a festival in their home town is worth all that time and effort, because in the midst of the crowd, it draws the town together.
Also, this group is doing it correctly by including the past. Many people don't know that what is now the CSRA RESA building used to house a school that ran through 12th grade. The school colors - purple and gold - were used on the Mayfest T-shirts, posters and flyers.
And the entire event is raising money to help save the old school's gym. Nobody else seems to want to spend any money on fixing it up, so with the Mayfest backing, it could soon be a community center of historical significance.
It is that sense of working together, fostering relationships and preserving a rich history that makes this event so unique. Those are worthy goals for which to strive. I hope that the event continues to grow and reach more and more people with that message.
And for those looking for me lugging the camera bag around Saturday morning, sorry. I had to miss the parade and early portion of Mayfest to go to the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser walk at Savannah Rapids Pavillion.
I have a friend with the disease, and I wasn't about to miss the opportunity to raise funds to help find a cure. Anyone interested in donating, please visit the CF Foundation's website at www.cff.org or just give me a call at The Mirror.