Hometown Festivals

July 15, 2007 at 7:16 am 13 comments

I always wonder if every state is like Ohio, we have a festival for everything: tomatos, coal, Indians, potatos, grapes, antiques, founders days, the day was sunny and we felt like riding rides…and of course, there’s ours – the Pottery Festival.  We are towns founded on the rich red clay that great stoneware is made from.  Even though that industry has suffered numerous blows from foreign imports and natural disasters, and the number of our factories has dwindled, what we have left is still making the finest ware on the planet.  Our artisan’s are still creating some of the most cutting edge decorative pieces in the world.  That’s worth celebrating, so we do.  For four days every July.  This year’s festival wraps up tomorrow.  If you’ve never volunteered to help with a community festival before, you’re missing out on the most exhausting, stressful, crazy fun you’ll ever have. 

When you center a festival around a specific focus – like pottery – you have to have some other stuff going on to get enough people there to buy the stuff.  Unfortunately, there are a few infidels uninformed people around who don’t know the benefits of adding some nice pottery to their lifestyle.  Then there’s the locals, who either work in the industry, grew up in the industry or both.  They take this beautiful ware for granted.  We believe that if we can get them to the grounds, we can teach them to appreciate this all American art.  So we do other stuff:  rides, talent shows, baby contests, bands, dance troups, food…then there’s the pageant to select a Festival Queen who will spread the news of the Pottery Festival around the state and through the community.  She does this by sacrificing every weekend from July through December and March through June getting up at the crack of dawn to travel hither and yon.  She must arrive at her destination prepared to speak and answer questions about pottery, the festival and the community at the drop of a hat, perfectly coifed, formally dressed and wearing high heels.  And they say women are the “weaker” sex.  Pffft.  This is a hideous job, and yet every year for the last 42, young women take up the gauntlet.  Want to know what it feels like to hear your name called as the new Pottery Festival Queen?  Like this:



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The Media Has Been Alerted On the Edge of the City

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gela  |  July 15, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Wow. To give up so many weekends? Jjeez, don’t think I’d enjoy that.

  • 2. DaveM  |  July 15, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Sounds a great festival Kat, it gives great publicity to the area and the industry. Congratulations on the appointment, you must have easily fitted the bill of “every year young women take up the gauntlet”, but it sounds as if you are going to be busy. I can see your time management skills being put to the test.
    You’re so right about being involved in the local community and the more you put in the more you get out. As I told you, we have been in this house for 30 years and got to know and then become friends, with others around through joining in, helping out, with local events.

  • 3. Jon M  |  July 15, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Pottery is so life affirming! 🙂 I like to own it but don’t like rows and rows on display. We have a huge wedgewood collection on display near us…doesn’t do much for me really!
    Pottery festival queens?? Now that’s something new to me!!!

  • 4. katcampbell  |  July 15, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Gela – The girls that do this are young, 15 or 16. For all the agony, they do meet tons of people and get to see some stuff so it still draws them.

    Dave – Luckily, my years of following a pottery queen around are done, the new queen isn’t related to me at all! Whew!

    JonM – Look at that, blogging really has taught you something!

  • 5. DaveM  |  July 15, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Sorry Kat I have miss read your article. I thought you had been voted Pottery Queen.

  • 6. Mr. Fabulous  |  July 15, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Gainesville itself mostly has arts and crafts festivals. Off the top of my head, in the area Chiefland and Newberry have Watermelon Festivals, Starke has a Strawberry Festival, Cedar Key has a Seafood Festival, and Windsor has a Zucchini Festival.

  • 7. colleen  |  July 15, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Are you a potter, a pottery queen, or just a pottery lover? I have a whole sidebar category on my blog about my potter son who has been getting lots of attention in Asheville where the clay is mostly blue. He did a big dig on a tobacco farmer’s field that wouldn’t grow anything. Now the farmer gets all the free pottery he wants.

    We have a Cabbage Festival nearby.

  • 8. katherine.  |  July 15, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    let’s see…the artichoke festival….the garlic festival…the begonia festival…Open Studios (which is actually rather incredible) About six different “Art and Wine Festivals” in different little towns all within the county…et cetera…but I think I’d like a pottery festival too….

  • 9. Stacy  |  July 16, 2007 at 3:11 am

    SW PA is just as bad when it comes to festivals and while we do have some pottery here, glass is king. Ever hear of Westmoreland Glass?

  • 10. katcampbell  |  July 16, 2007 at 5:50 am

    DaveM – No problems, must be my shoddy writing!

    Mr. Fab – Baffles me, I don’t remember all this festivalin when I was growing up.

    Colleen – I am a failed potter (can’t stand the feel of the clay), the mother of the 2004 Pottery Queen, wife of the Pottery Festival Chairman, and lover of pottery. I’ll have to cruise over and check out your son’s work, that’s cool!

    Katherine – who knew, even in California? Well next year you’ll just have to take a vacation and come on over for the pottery festival.

    Stacy – Yes I have. I used to live in Lancaster PA. Long time ago.

  • 11. Janet  |  July 16, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    I have a RRP Roseville pottery water dish for Spot-it was the heaviest dish I could find because he likes to wash his paws and would tip over every other bowl I tried. I love this dish-it keeps the water cool longer. I’d collect it if I could afford it!

  • 12. guyana-gyal  |  July 17, 2007 at 7:57 am

    I like this kinda spirit, where people do, and put their all into it. I want to have festivals for everything too!

  • 13. FatWhiteMan  |  July 21, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Let’s not forget the Beaver Festival down in Beaver, Ohio


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