The air was crisp and clean as I awoke at 5am to start my day on Saturday. I smelled the coffee perking and knew that even though it was a weekend that it was going to be a good day. It was Arts Hill Festival day and the weather promised to be perfect for the event. It was perfect. My husband and I got dressed, grabbed our coffees, and headed on down to the volunteer tent at the corner of Main and DeKalb. The public works department had started already and were hard at work distributing tables and chairs, which we helped get off the trucks. The lighting guys arrived and we sprang to work running the cable from the generators to the stage and hooking up the lights.
I was then asked to help with the vendor admittance. I was given a clipboard and asked to stand at the intersection at the barricades. My job was simple. When the vendors came up, I was to ask them their names and direct them to a runner who would take them to their assigned spot on the street. People stared at us driving down Main St, and we got a good laugh at the unaware drivers who would pull into the left hand turn lane on Main St, put their signal on and attempt to turn onto DeKalb St before noticing there were barriers there. Then they would see their way was blocked and they would get angry and try to drive off. Several people who worked at the post office or at the flower shop on DeKalb were annoyed even though they knew this was the setup for several months. I felt an enormous feeling of power holding a clipboard and pen, for some reason. I controlled who got in and who didn’t.
After doing that for a while, I was asked to come back and help the sound guy who had just arrived. The person is extremely good at what they do, but he is not really good to work for as he rarely asks for help. I spent a good portion of my time with him just waiting for him to ask me to do something. We then went up to the second and third tent to finalize the system setup and the show was on. Finally I was able to relax and enjoy the shows, and some of the acts were very enjoyable!
After all the acts had performed and the food was eaten and people had schmoozed, the day was over and it was time to strike the sets and pack up. It took about two hours of coiling cables, hoisting heavy speakers, and wheeling large trunks into a truck and we were finished. After a beautiful day, the clouds broke through and a fine rain came down as if God was crying that it was over. This year’s festival was history and plans were waiting for next years. If you were there, then you knew that it was a great event. If you were not there, I hope you have the opportunity to experience it next year.