Archive for Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Improvements made to Maple Leaf Festival

October 22, 2003

Those who attend the Maple Leaf Festival each year can expect to see some of the same things like the parade, the carnival and several food and craft booths.

But also each year, changes are made -- some obvious and others not so apparent -- in an effort to improve the fall festival.

"The changes we're making are positive," Stacy Cohen, festival committee member, said. "We want the festival to be as good as we can possibly make it."

One of the biggest changes to this year's festival was the approximate 150 additional craft booths, which, for the first time, stretched down the length of Eighth Street to the elementary school.

"There were a lot of different types of booths," Cohen said. "There were a lot of comments on the variety of stuff. We were seeing different things."

Festival committee president Jennifer Hayes said the additional booths also helped disperse the large crowd.

"I thought it also got more people over to the grade school because the booths just flowed them in that direction," she said.

While the festival is not planning on adding that many booths next year, Cohen said she believes the large number will continue to attract people -- both craft vendors and festival visitors -- year after year.

"I think the additional booths are good things for people," she said. "In the long run, it's going to do a lot for everyone."

Another addition to this year's festival was the second music tent. For years there has been a country music tent downtown during the festival, but this year's second tent added a variety of alternative music like jazz, rock and celtic.

Hayes said she thought the new tent added a good music option for those who didn't like country music.

"Personally I think the second music tent was a nice addition this year," she said.

Another addition she said both parents and children could appreciate was in the Kids Zone. While the Kids Zone wasn't new, the chance for children to make their own crafts was.

"Every kid got something they could take home with them for free," she said.

The festival committee, Cohen said, will continue to look for ways to improve the Maple Leaf Festival each year.

"We want to make it the best festival we can and, in the long run, help the community as much as we can," she said.

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