This year's incarnation of the Redwood Mountain Faire will directly benefit 19 community and educational support groups. The family friendly event features 22 bands on two stages, many art and craft vendors, an array of children’s activities, food stands, local microbrews and fine wines.
“Everyone working is a volunteer,” she said. “The proceeds are distributed to the non-profits according to how many hours their volunteers worked on the Faire.”
Last year, the event made $40,000 with 6,000 in attendance.
The money helped non-profits like the Ben Lomond Fire Department to buy tables and chairs. The South Street Centre in Boulder Creek, which specializes in children and family support, was able to provide a year of free music classes for kids who previously had to pay a sliding-scale fee.
Smith, who serves as marketing director for Watsonville’s AnnieGlass, has a goal of $50,000 for this year's event, which is scheduled for May 31 and June 1 at Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton.
“The Faire is always evolving,” Smith said. “Every year, we are always trying to create the best one, and rethinking the structure using previous years as a model.”
This year, she said, more sophisticated technology will be utilized to cut down on attendance lines. Shorter lines means happier people.
Volunteers are needed to help at the Faire, Smith said. Those who do, work 4 hours and receive free entry that day.
Smith — now in her fifth year as a volunteer — recalled one year in which she'd volunteered for one of the Faires and gave birth to a son five days before the event. He was six days early but he went to the Faire.
One of the live music performers will be the steel guitarist, Patti Maxine, who is set to play in her fourth Faire and, for the second year, will sit in with the Sherri Austin and the Henhouse nearly-all-girl band.
“The audience is fantastic,” says Maxine, a Felton resident and Director of the Senior Center at Highlands Park. “The people are there to dance and have a good time in the sun. Sometimes the trains blow their whistles right on cue when we’re playing.”
She admits that the location, Roaring Camp, is special to her.
“For 30 years, I used to play there on the porch at the General Store and in the Bar-B-Q area,” Maxine said.
Now in its fifth year following a 15-year hiatus, the Redwood Mountain Faire owes much to the architect of its return, Julie Hendriks.
Beginning in the early 1980s, the Valley Women’s Club sponsored the event at Highlands Park for 18 years, but overhead costs took their toll and the Faire disappeared until 2010.
During that hiatus, Hendriks said she was continually asked by her young son, “What happened to the Faire?”
She finally drew up a proposal and presented it to the VWC Board. It was accepted.
Hendriks says she has many people to thank, but the Faire could not have reopened without the support of Georgiana Clark, Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of Roaring Camp Railroads.
A couple of years ago, Hendriks said she was sitting in the Steering Committee booth when two little girls in dresses came fluttering by, laughing and giggling.
“I thought to myself,” Hendriks said, “‘This is the reason we started this again — for the kids.’ That picture remains in my mind.”
Discount tickets are available online at www.redwoodmountainfaire.com, or at the following businesses: Scarborough Lumber in Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Scotts Valley; Liberty Bank in Felton; and Streetlight Records in Santa Cruz.
Those seeking to volunteer can apply online at http://www.redwoodmountainfaire.com, or contact 566-7788.
If you go:
Redwood Mountain Faire
May 31 and June 1, 2014
11:00am to 7:00pm
(Gates open at 10:30am)
5401 Graham Hill Road
Felton, CA 95018
Onsite parking- $5
Henry Cowell State Park- $10