Derby Festival Can Use a Hand (5/5/11)
With the unrelenting rain that's caused the cancellation, postponement or "creative adaptation" of so many events, it's safe to say the Derby Festival has never faced so much adversity.
Still, we've heard no complaints from Festival workers. They've uniformly assumed a "grin and bear it" attitude and found ways to work around just about every problem.
Some people have been upset with the Derby Festival that the weather has crimped their plans this year. Anger at the Festival is not only misplaced but inappropriate. I promise you that their frustration is a hundred times higher than yours. To you it's a diversion, a moment of entertainment. To them it's a year's worth of work in jeopardy of being washed away.
And there's no question the weather has seriously cut into revenue the Festival counts on from Chow Wagon and merchandise sales.
That's why it's important to remind ourselves that this annual celebration isn't supported by tax dollars. It exists because of the financial backing of businesses and individuals alike. It exists because of the efforts of a year-round staff and hundreds of unpaid volunteers -- who all exhibit flexibility, creativity, patience and urgency in just the right combination.
Look, the Derby Festival isn't an entitlement, but a privilege. And it depends upon everyone's tender loving care.
Remember: the Derby Festival isn't just for us. It is us. And that's what makes it so special.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.