It takes a village to organize a festival By Heather Riley, interim executive director, Madison County Chamber of Commerce <.div>
Back in 1996 when Hillary Rodham Clinton penned her book “It Takes a Village,” she caused an uproar when she advocated for a community effort to work together and meet the needs of children.
I happen to agree with Mrs. Clinton in that regard — it does take a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to plan and carry out the Covered Bridge Festival.
I’d like to issue an all-encompassing thank you to the dedicated community citizens who help to put on this much-loved event that showcases our beautiful Madison County. Let me begin with the planning committee. Thank you for devoting your Monday evenings to talking through scenarios, brainstorming solutions and taking ownership of the festival. Careful attention to details show, and we’re so grateful for your hard work.
Thank you to the hospitality and set-up committees for devoting your Friday and Sunday nights to greeting vendors, putting the festival grounds together and then tearing them back down. You have a hard job, but we thank you for your planning and for your time.
Thank you to the vendor committee that recruited and vetted demonstrators, craftsmen and a variety of culinary choices to offer unique wares and savory fares to suit a multitude of interests and appetites at the festival.
Thank you to the groups and organizations that offer activities outside of the festival to keep our guests entertained and enlightened about our county’s history, causes we care about and new things to learn and enjoy.
Thank you to our amazing king and queen, Jim and Pat Nelson, who have devoted their lives to serving this community through their time, talents and gifts. We are proud to align Covered Bridge Festival with the Nelsons this year and feel they are an excellent choice to serve in the role of king and queen.
Thank you to the policemen, firemen and emergency management teams who helped to make an emergency preparedness plan so that we can all feel safe in our surroundings. Their presence at the festival reassures us that a plan is in place if we have a disaster and trained professionals are ready when needed.
Thank you to the local entertainers who share their talents with the community and festival-goers. Thank you, as well, to the emcees and organizers of the entertainment stages. We appreciate the experience and enthusiasm that you bring to the festival .
Thank you to the group of citizens who decided 44 years ago that our community needed a Covered Bridge Festival to celebrate our heritage, teach our children and remember our history.
And thank you for attending and supporting the 44th Annual Madison County Covered Bridge Festival.