Saturday, February 10, 2007

Another Franklin on Ice gone. Although I enjoyed it, there are a couple of things that might suggest.
1) If you attended, did you notice anything missing? Like anyone between the ages of 13-25? Or anything devised to encourage them to take ownership in the festival and begin to be stakeholders of the city? There's the Retro Prom for the Boomers, but even though the church next to Fountain Park has been sponsoring shows, not a one was scheduled along with the festival.

2)If we're really serious about keeping young talented people in the area, why not it enjoyable for them? An indoor garage sale isn't going to pack them in, but a Bizarre Bazaar might, as well as bringing in hipsters with money from outside the area.

3)In this case, both Franklin High School and Venango Catholic were having formal dances the same night as the festival, why not do a carving that could serve as a backdrop to some dance night photos for $5 a pop and raise some money as well. There needs to be some youthful representation and communication between the rapidly aging members of the area arts boards and our younger citizens who are shut out of any decision making.
4)Why not, you know, advertise the festival? While creating a festival by and for townies is nice, it doesn't bring in outside money, or introduce the beauty of our town to anyone who might come back.

5)What's up with the chili contest? Bella Cucina in a chili contest? If I want mid 90s Gourmet magazine style food, I'll go to Bella, but chili? No. Why not have another festival themed contest for places like Bella and Primos and tie it into a different demographic - have a cocktail contest (allow me to suggest the Jackie K) or an ice wine tasting. Bring back the "civilian" chili contest as well.

6)New sculptures. I don't want to see that knight cheese piece again. Along with that, why isn't there an actual contest for sculptors. All the sculptures seemed to be done by the same company.

7)Why don't any of the sculptures have anything to do with the area.
(Well, aside from:)

Branding the area must extend to the festivals as well. Why not advertise in the Pittsburgh, Erie, and Youngstown market, bring their ice sculptors in and make sure that the tourists see something that links the town with something particular, which would, of course, entail figuring out if we're the Victorian City, the Bike trail city, the city with festivals, or...

8)Why not actually value the work created? After local people pay a minimum of $250 to sponsor these, why not protect them. When I went through the park this morning, less than 16 hours after the end of the festival, the big ice throne had been broken off at one of the arms and more than a quarter of the smaller sculptures had been tipped over and destroyed. We can't find a couple of people to sit in the park overnight so the art at last sticks around, for, oh, 24 hours?

The festival has a lot of potential to draw people in during the gray days of February, but if we're not going to do it right, a failed presentation only reinforces the images of the town as a backwater that can't pull off a day long celebration.

All right, enough vented spleen.

Venangoland blogger Pete Greene will host a presentation about the history of the Franklin Silver Cornet Band at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at DeBence Antique Music World.

The Four Sons Brewery will be sold at a sheriff’s sale Thursday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m.

The News Herald announces that it has officially given up on any kind of journalism by using the wikipedia as the main source for an article.

On Sunday, I like to renew the tunes on my player for the upcoming week. Might I recommend Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Live at Southpaw on 2002-08-15?

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