Saint Benedict Center's main site is An online Journal edited by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Richmond, New Hampshire.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fiddle Festival Fun Facts

The question has been asked, “What does the Richmond Blueberry Fiddle Festival do for Richmond”? Good questions deserves good answers. Here are a few:

1. Richmond businesses stand to profit financially. The Four Corners Store has, in the past, enjoyed a larger influx of business due to the crowds. Besides that, while the vendors / exhibitors do pay a booth rental fee to our school, all monies taken in are theirs to keep. Many of the vendors / exhibitors have been Richmond businesses.

2. Richmond residents get a cultural event that is fun, free, and family oriented. They can listen to hours of Bluegrass, Old-Time, Early Americana, and a little Gospel and Blues; they can learn old-fashioned dances (including contra and clogging). No admission fee is charged for any of these things. IHM School brings in revenue by the following means: the parking fee (new, as of 2007), booth rentals, certain games, the bake-off auction, voluntary donations, and the reasonably-priced food and drink concessions. All the music, workshops, and many of the games are entirely free. In the past, the popcorn has always been free. The classic car show, new this year, is also free.

3. Young Richmond residents can get exposure to fun, innocent music, learn from free workshops, and connect with teachers who can tutor them privately, if they are interested. Homemade music is more fun and more ennobling than wiring yourself to a an iPod to roast your brain on the nihilistic trash that often passes for entertainment nowadays. At least we think so.

4. That Richmond has such a free event is a way of practicing good will with residents of neighboring towns. The thinking goes like this: “Come to our free event. Bring your family and have fun in Richmond. You can dance, listen to music, and see how hospitable Richmond residents are.”

Note: Lamentably, we have outgrown Richmond’s Pavilion. Due to safety concerns, we have to move the event to Swanzey.* In the future, all the above benefits will remain, with two major changes: (1) People won’t be coming to our town to enjoy our hospitality at the event. (2) The Four Corners Store will not benefit from the Festival’s proximity. We wish there were a way to keep it in our lovely town. If it is possible in the future to bring it back to Richmond, we will do so.

* We will keep Richmond in the name, though. There are numerous precedents for this: “Keene Airport” is actually in Swanzey, and some ball clubs have their stadiums in places other than those from which they derive their name.

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