To the point week of 8/30/07


WE ALL KNOW WHEN SOMETHING is wrong. In fact, for many people, there is delight in not only finding errors, but pointing them out to the people who made them.

I have experience being on the receiving end of those types of people.

In a world that focuses on what’s wrong rather than what’s right; I’d like to take a few moments in this column to point out a great big “right”.

To the board of directors and volunteers who work tirelessly to organize and pull off the Swiss Wine Festival – thanks for all you do.

I know that by Sunday afternoon you were exhausted and ready to fall into your favorite chair and collapse; but most of you were still down at the riverfront, long after the crowds and vendors had gone home. You were picking up trash that people didn’t seem to care to find a can to put it in. You were tearing down tents and stages and information booths.

You were doing the part of the festival that very few see and even less appreciate.

But I do.

As strange as this sounds, I understand that you can’t control the weather. I’m sure you cringed when you saw forecasts of temperatures above 100-degrees; but you pushed through.

I actually heard a person say that she couldn’t believe that we would host a festival on such a hot weekend, and that sometime in October would have brought much more bearable temperatures.

Sorry for the inconvenience, ma’am – the festival organizers will try and fit things into your schedule more efficiently next time.

Others talked about the rain on Saturday- as if someone had control over it. I know Kirk Works is a miracle worker at times, but if he can make it rain, farmers would have been calling on him months ago.

Throughout the weekend I heard general grumbling, and I’m sure that the festival board did, too.

But what I really hope that they heard was a grateful community taking a moment to stop and say thank you for all of the hours that those people have spent away from their family and friends over the past year because they wanted to put on an outstanding festival.

To plan and organize a festival of this size takes 12 months of planning – maybe more. It wouldn’t surprise me if the festival board had some discussions about the 2008 festival even before the 2007 festival opened.

It is an ongoing and tiring job; and nearly everyone does it without any pay.

That’s why it’s important as a community that we sometimes stop and see other points of view and what can and cannot be controlled, and then speak our appreciation to those who do what many of us wouldn’t.

This year’s four-day Swiss Wine Festival was organized and planned and was extremely enjoyable for everyone who came down to the riverfront. I didn’t see any problems – but I’m sure that there were. When they did come up, they were handled so that the overall experience of the festival wasn’t compromised.

Yes, it rained on Saturday -doesn’t it always? I think the Saturday afternoon rain storm should be promoted and embraced, much like the grape stomp and Little Swiss Polka Dancers.

So you got a little wet – it also cooled things down even more, which brought it huge crowds later on Saturday.

We live in a society that likes to talk about what’s wrong; but let’s be a community that also celebrates what’s right.

Thanks, Swiss Wine Festival committee and volunteers. You’re work is appreciated.