Often the focus of letters to the editor are issues that divide us. I would like to offer a letter highlighting the collaboration and cooperation that occurred this Labor Day weekend in the planning and execution of the second annual Sunflower Festival.
The Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA), which works to educate and empower our youth and families in their efforts to be healthy and drug free, is required to develop sources of revenue to become self-sustaining when our federal grant cycle is over. The coalition has worked to develop fundraisers that are family and youth friendly and are not in competition with any of the other hard-working non-profits already serving Page County. The Sunflower Festival is one such effort. Thanks to the wonderful support of the Town of Luray, the Luray Downtown Initiative, and the Page Valley Arts Council our first festival was held in 2019.
This year we asked the Page County Farmers Association to lend their expertise (and equipment) to help make sure that our fields at Ralph Dean Park were bursting with blooms when festival time arrived. And boy, oh, boy…did they ever deliver. The bloom cycle was perfectly timed, and there were beautiful sunflowers that visitors and locals alike clipped by the armload. They also stepped up to provide hay wagon rides to the lower fields during the festival. They deserve a special shout out and a big thank you!
The entire event was truly a collaborative effort that highlights the best of our community — the town workers who set the stage and managed the logistics, the LDI volunteers who helped include the local merchants and promoted our town as part of the festival, the Farmers Association who brought displays and provided hayrides down to the fields, the local YPACA students who served as festival volunteers, the Luray Garden Club who provided floral activities, the Page Valley Arts Council who provided fun activities for youth and face painting, the vendors who shared their talents… The list goes on and on.
Many of the festival goers were from out of town and many number of folks commented on the fact that this family-friendly event was affordable, fun and offered something for everyone.
PACA accepted donations from those who clipped sunflowers; the generous response was simply amazing. The festival would not have been successful — or even possible — as the work of any one organization. Working together, our community was able to showcase the best of Page County and give visitors a glimpse of why so many of us count ourselves blessed to call this special place home.
We truly are Page County Proud!
Megan Gordon ~ Program Director, Page Alliance for Community Action
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