Hay Days are coming and both revellers and organizers are bracing themselves for a good time.
“Just having it at a new location is really exciting,” said Ken Latour, part of the organizing committee for the annual music and arts festival.
“The water, the beach, that’s what a summer music festival is all about.”
This year, all events – including the market, artisan tables, and wet dance – will be hosted down by the water at the public beach.
Latour said he believes it’s the first time a proper dance will be held there and is looking forward to having festival-goers able to make the best of the short summer season.
“We’re really grateful to (the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment), they’ve been really supportive of this whole thing,” he said.
While the foundations for the festival have been laid and arrangements made to get everything out to Old Town, Latour admitted that there was still a lot of work left to be done, both in terms of set up and logistics.
“Aspects of this festival will be very spontaneous,” he said, laughing. “It’s been a ton of work and we’ve really been focusing on getting everything set up for the new location … we figure we’ll get it down there this year, and then grow it from there.”
Visitors and Hay Riverites alike may have come to expect the musicians and artisans to come out in full force for the three-day event, there will also be a little something new on offer for this year. The organizing committee has encouraged artisans to set up workshops for the public – both by registration and drop-in – to get people more involved
and hopefully more inclined to buy things.
“The idea is to get people to come out and enjoy the whole weekend,” said Anne Boudreau, one of the organizers in charge of setting up the workshops. “We just want to put it out there, that people can give stuff a try and see if they like it.”
As of last weekend, Boudreau said there would be at least seven workshops, three where participants could just drop in and four that required registration for things like stamping, painting on candles and beading.
“There will be workshops that run over a few days, but if people want to come in for just one, they can do that too,” she said.
The longer workshops requiring before-hand registration include wet-felting, knitting and simple tapestry-weaving.
“Even if they don’t get their projects done in a weekend, they can take it home and it will hopefully get them interested in doing more,” said Boudreau. “With the music and the market and the workshops, kids games and everything else, there really will be something for everything.”