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The COVID-19 situation is affecting every local event and now, organizers of the May Show Festival, which should have taken place on May 17, have come up with an alternative. This is a scene from the 2019 edition of the May Show Festival, as Louise Stephenson demonstrated bungee fitness as part of the activities on Main Street. This year's event is being handed off to citizens -- to create their own celebration of arts, food and music in their homes and to share what they are doing via the Excellent Events Facebook page.

May Show Festival 2020: celebrate the arts, food and music in your home on May 17

Excellent Events will not be holding the May Show Festival in the usual way. There will be no stage on Main Street and no vendors lining the street, which is usually a pedestrian way for one day during Victoria Day weekend, in keeping with the annual event, which has taken place for the past 40 years.

This year, the May Show Festival, organized by Excellent Events, says it is inviting people to celebrate in their own way on May 17, in the safety of their homes.

“Phil Arber never let limitations get in his way of creating a spirit of community in Vankleek Hill. He used to invite us to gather together, to celebrate artistic talents in a multitude of expression. This year, we carry on his spirit by adapting to this new world of humanity, where community surpasses space, distance and time in unusual ways,” says Excellent Events coordinator, Samme Putzel in a press release.

“For this year’s  May Show Festival 2020, in view of the extraordinary events unfolding world-wide, instead of cancelling or postponing the Festival, we are passing the tradition on to you,” Putzel writes.

Rather than celebrating creativity by gathering together in the streets, Excellent Events invites you to create your own festivities in the safety of your homes,  Practice joy, art, music, dancing, making handicrafts, and eating delicious food.  Plant flowers, build sculptures, bake butter tarts, make music, dance and sing. Follow your whims in creative spirit.Then, On Facebook and your favourite social media apps , Link, Tag, Like, Share, Emoji, Love…

Excellent Events suggests that you think of your favourite performers, those who would have been on stage May 17: 50 Proof, Lise Pearl Dancers, 4 H Square Dancers, Georgia Petit Flamenco Family, Voix La, the VKH Old Tyme Fiddlers, Frank, the Sound Guy, and Bobby Lalonde Music.  Think of your favourite artists and crafts people who would line the streets with their imaginative wares. Think of the delicious food, your favourite treats, butter tarts, ice cream, coffee, and delicacies of all sorts. Remember the Children’s Parade with Hannah and her drummers leading the way, the Wonderful Hat Contest, the painted Chairs, and Susan Jephcott’s Three Owls Studio exhibitions, the restaurants, galleries, shops and street decor.

Then, on May 17, do something special to celebrate our community in the spirit of joy, togetherness and new possibilities.  In the face of overwhelming social challenges, there is no better year to carry on this tradition.

To carry on the traditional May Show Festival, Excellent Events is adapting its format to the current realities required by social distancing.

“We invite you to participate in a new format of the May Show Festival 2020- Free, safe and healthy. (Dare we say:  Safe Excellence?)”

Rather than sending contracts and requesting money from street vendors and event participants, Excellent Events is inviting vendors to promote what they do virtually on Facebook. “Tag us with your links, websites, logos and promotional materials, and we will share your greetings and messages with our customers, followers and fans. Post videos if you have them. Send suggestions and messages. Tell us what you’re up to. For those who do not “do Facebook” we will highlight local businesses and vendors and promote the community as opportunities present themselves. We will boost the virtual event originally scheduled May 17, 2020 on our Facebook sites for Excellent Events and Creating Centre and on our websites www.excellentevents.ca and www.creatingcentre.ca. .

 

 

Louise Sproule

Louise Sproule has been the publisher of The Review since 1992. A part-time job after high school at The Review got Sproule hooked on community newspapers and all that they represent. She loves to write, has covered every kind of event you can think of, loves to organize community events and loves her small town and taking photographs across the region. She dreams of writing a book one day so she can finally tell all of the town's secrets! She must be stopped! Keep subscribing to The Review . . . or else!

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