Event scheduled for spring
Oct. 22, 2009
By Greg Elias
A yearly gathering in St. George that will bring residents together and raise money for good causes won preliminary approval last week.
The Selectboard gave the initial nod for St. George Day, which will take place on Saturday, June 18, said event organizer Lori Ring. It will be held in the field next to Town Center on Vermont 2A.
Ring said the afternoon event may feature games, food and craft vendors and cultural activities. A performance by English dancers is planned, part of a theme mimicking St. George’s Day, held each April in England to honor the patron saint. Other ideas include live music, basketball and baseball games, family activities and a pig roast.
Ring originally considered holding St. George Day on the same day as the English celebration, but concluded that Vermont’s iffy spring weather made it impractical.
“It’s just too muddy, too wet, too cool,” Ring said.
She had originally hoped the event could raise money for the restoration and relocation of the town’s old schoolhouse, which has fallen into disrepair over the years. The project will cost an estimated $247,000.
But after learning of the considerable expense of putting on a big event, Ring expressed doubts that there will be much money left over to benefit the school, at least in the first year.
Still, Ring figures the event could in the future benefit other causes. And no matter what, she said, it won’t involve spending any tax money
Selectboard member Phil Gingrow said he was supportive of the proposal, which he likened to harvest festivals and Independence Day celebrations held in other towns.
“But really she has a lot more work to do at this point,” Gingrow said.
Questioning by the board revealed that Ring had yet to arrange for facilities that would accommodate a crowd.
The idea for St. George Day was first suggested by Les Parker, a South Burlington resident from England. He celebrates the holiday each April with his neighbors and wanted to expand the festivities. St. George was a logical venue, even if the town was actually named for King George, not the saint.
Ring was asked to return to the Selectboard in January with more complete plans for the celebration and potential final approval.
In the meantime, she is seeking volunteers to help her organize the event. She’s also looking for people willing to donate various goods and services, including a band to play music.
Regardless of what shape it takes, Ring said St. George Day will give all residents a chance to gather in one place, something that only happens now at the annual town meeting.
“I’m just trying to get the town together,” she said.
To volunteer to help organize St. George Day or to donate services or goods, call 482-3747 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.