Friday, January 18, 2008

Go you, Shannon

3RF forums offer shot to shape future events | The Journal Gazette: "Input gathered at two public forums will help the Three Rivers Festival eventually become a nationally recognized event like Mardi Gras, Burning Man or Taste of Chicago, according to Shannon White, the festival’s executive director."

I've read three different blogs making fun of Mr. White for this statement. But I say: Dream big, Shannon.

(Now, I don't know: Did the founders of Burning Man say, wow, we want to start a really cool, out-there festival in the middle of a godforsaken desert, attract thousands of people, and get tons of media attention? Or did they just have one, and let it ride?)

I'm not sure you can plan for a festival, or any event, to catch on that way. But you can plan an event that's the best you can do, with some unique features, invite people, and start partying.

I feel for Mr. White, because every time I've blogged about promoting Ft. Wayne as a party city, I get some "oh come on be real" comments.

But really--don't we live in a city, a region, that has one festival after another, many with unique features (Turtle Days, anyone? Downtown Ft. Wayne Santa Sign Lighting? Canal Days? ) that attract thousands of people?

For a city, a region, that keeps searching for an identity, I said: It's staring you in the face, and it ties in beautifully with the 3RF.

Ft. Wayne: City of Celebrations. Come celebrate with us!

Burning Man it's not, but it's a start.

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