Well, my first official Foothills Festival is in the books! Last year, I was too young and slow and couldn’t keep up with Mike’s steps. Let’s just say that this year I wasn’t the …
Well, my first official Foothills Festival is in the books! Last year, I was too young and slow and couldn’t keep up with Mike’s steps. Let’s just say that this year I wasn’t the one having trouble keeping up. I do want to thank Mike for remembering that when you wear a permanent English creme fur coat in 100-degree weather beneath the blazing sun, frequent water and air-conditioning breaks are needed. I want to thank Bernard’s Store for Men, Young Jewelers, Tallulah Brewing, and Five Loaves Bakery for supplying those accommodations for me.
I started Friday at 1:30PM by assisting Mike, who was taking his orders from Foothills Mastermind of Logistics Lisa Myers, with the placement of vendors. Tammy Hamilton, employee with the City of Jasper Street Department, worked with us to get all the vendors in their spots by Friday at 4PM. After that, Mike and I played troubleshooter for Lisa and Brent McCarver, Foothills Mastermind Fundraiser, for the rest of the weekend; of course, throughout the weekend, I often saw Mayor David O’Mary who always takes time to greet me. He and the City Council understand that a festival of this magnitude is produced by a village for a village to enhance their quality of life and goodwill toward visitors who may decide to call Jasper a home or a destination.
Now it’s time for total disclosure. I didn’t taste one crumb from any food vendor (unless I found it on the ground when you-know-who had his back turned), didn’t hear any music from this stupendous line-up of talent brought to you by Zach Baker, Talent Finder Extraordinaire, but I did buy one item from a vendor and also did this…walked, trotted, traveled, on paw 14.4 miles in those two days. That’s how I’m keeping my girlish figure, Dahling.
It’s not about the 14.4 miles that I walked in those two days in the sweltering heat; I’ve done that before. It’s what I saw in those miles that means the most. I saw a community working together all the way from the mayor and city council, to the countless volunteers, to the people picking up the trash, to the COJ Street Department, to the COJ Park & Recreation & Maintenance Departments, to the COJ Police assuring everyone’s safety, to the COJ Fire Department ready to respond to any emergency, to the Jasper Water Works and Sewer Board for cooling stations, to volunteers handing out cold water, to the city employees working on an off day, to Jasper residents and newcomers greeting me lovingly, and more, so much more. To me, this is what the Foothills Festival means.
Is it a superior music festival? Sure. Do we have great food and drink? Of course, that day and everyday. Great vendors? Assuredly, along with our regular brick and mortar retail shops. Do you meet old friends and new? Most definitely. Was sunrise on Sunday morning greeted by clean streets, sidewalks, and parking lots as if nothing ever happened? Positively pristine. Those are a must for a successful festival to visitors and residents, but for me, Foothills is about community. Thank you Jasper, Walker County, and parts unknown, but especially Downtown Jasper, for embracing me and giving us all a renewed sense of pride in our community.