Festival of the August Moon cancelled for this year
By Chad Ingram
Minden’s Festival of the August Moon is cancelled for this summer, but organizers are hoping to renew the popular event next year.
The bottom line is it requires more volunteers, and preferably some younger blood.
“We really need to rejuvenate ourselves,” says Heather Ross, chairwoman of the festival’s organizing committee, adding it was a shame to have to cancel. “It’s just such a lovely sight at night.”
Based on a Japanese ritual, the festival includes the painting of paper lanterns in memory of loved ones, which are then floated down the Gull River at dusk on the evening of the first full moon in August. The annual event also typically includes a number of activities on the lawn of the Wild Swan B&B, such as children’s games, folk stories, a tea ceremony, music, tai chi and karate demonstrations, and traditional Japanese dancing.
This would have been the ninth year for the festival, which just needs more volunteers to make it happen.
“We’re simply having a drop off in volunteers,” Ross says. “We’re all getting older.”
She explains that health and energy issues among the volunteer base were what led to the cancellation of this year’s event. The festival is financially sound, its two main sponsors in the past having been Subaru and Kawartha Credit Union.
“Our sponsors have been great,” Ross says, explaining they essentially cover the overhead costs.
“We need people on the committee,” she says, adding the committee needs to consist of seven or eight people in order to divvy up responsibilities and have them performed adequately.
In addition to the committee, she says there’s a requirement for at least five or six additional people to assist with set-up and take-down on the day of the festival.
“We need bodies, and we need those bodies to have muscles,” Ross says.
The festival will put out a call for volunteers for next year in early 2020. Ross says along with new volunteers, organizers are also looking to expand the event with new ideas.