Hello fellow readers,
I recently attended the Springfest Retirement gathering of organizer volunteers. Yes, the Springfest Garden Show held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta NJ is retiring after 20 years. As the 20th Anniversary unfolded, reports at the register and the crowded aisles were blockbuster. Not that attendance has ever been anything to poo-poo about; at more than 8,000 annually matched again this year. But we haven’t grown in attendance as hoped and each year costs have increased. We’ve enjoyed many repeat visitors which has been glorious. This year’s event brought several new faces too thanks to the The Press, other publicity, and good old word of mouth. Still, all good things must come to end.
Attending the retirement gathering were generous supporters that would rather remain anonymous. In respect of their wishes, I’ll speak in code. There are three seasons of growth each year followed by a season of dormancy; but even then, roots remain active preparing for a bevy of glorious growth come spring. There’s the creative talents of Louise, Kathy and crew (no codes there) working through the seasons that brought finesse and style to the show. Then there’s Gale and Barbara organizing the business of it all with the help of the Springfest Committee overseen by David Wright, the brainchild of the show along with Brian Hautau.
But the buck doesn’t stop here, as the 20 years of Springfest planted roots for the love of gardens and the appreciation of all things green. The supporter’s humble generosity is like a blanket of fertile soil nurturing businesses in our area that have grown as a result.
Gary Larson, Manager of the Fairgrounds, shared that big business event coordinators have inquired about jumping in. While it would be lovely if they could keep things going, there’s no way big business can take over our grassroots enthusiasm and endless hours of volunteer and generous supporters for the Springfest Garden Show. Without which, the last 20 years would have not been possible. It truly has been a labor of love.
When things come to end, memories and the lives touched move forward and touch other lives. It’s the circle of life, the passage of the time, the change of the seasons. And now it’s time to plant new things.
Garden dilemmas? Askmarystone@gmail.com