End of the line for Village Folk Festival?

It is with much soul searching that the planning team of the Village Folk Festival has decided not to continue with planning a Festival for 2017.

“This effort has been carried squarely on the shoulders of three or four of us, from the start, four years ago,” Festival organizer Lucia Terry said. “We are the only ones still involved and it has become unsustainable for us to continue.”

Terry and VFF members believe strongly in the mission and vision of the Festival to celebrate and promote all the things people do and grow and make here.

“We value the need for it in our community, hence our reluctance to step away,” Terry said.

Terry said it is the group’s hope that “there are others out there who will step up and breathe new life into the Festival.”

“It has made friends over the last four years; farmers and cooks ready to put on a feast, musicians ready to play, artisan vendors ready to set up, and people ready to come and enjoy,” she said. “All these need volunteers to reach out, to finance, to plan, to promote, to coordinate, to set up and take down. These volunteers have been few and far between and cultivating a team has been challenging.”

Terry and VFF members appreciate the efforts of many who helped bring a festival to Bridgton.

“Those of you who have lent your hands, bodies and spirits — we are so grateful for you,” she said. “The Bridgton Community Center has hosted this event from the start and lent invaluable support to the team and the event. We are grateful. And to our sponsors who have helped us to bring this event to the community four times, especially Chalmers Group, we thank you. We could not have even begun without your support. Heartfelt thanks also to The Bridgton News, which has been a wonderful partner from the beginning.”

Bridgton now has an Events Committee and plans are being made for a big Bridgton birthday coming up in the next couple of years.

“These efforts could possibly provide some support and collaboration to a Village Folk Festival team,” Terry said. “There is time to create a Festival for 2017, but a team will need to jump right on it! We have all the history and files of what's been done, all the contacts and records. There is a Facebook page where folks are clamoring for info, where we will be posting this letter this week.”

If there are folks who want to take the Village Folk Festival on, please contact Terry or VFF members through the Facebook page or e-mail at villagefolkfestival@gmail.com or call at 207-415-9837 to get this packet.

“Thank you and dance on!” Terry wrote. “VFF Planning Team, signing off.”

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