Several days a week for the last couple of weeks I’ve been pounding the pavement selling ads for our annual Azalea Festival edition.
As usual, we’ll attempt to have the most comprehensive pre-event and post-event coverage anywhere of McKinleyville’s annual town festival. Check out next Tuesday’s paper for pre-event coverage, and make sure you get out and enjoy at least some of the activities next weekend. I’ll post more on this blog next week. The week after, we’ll have coverage of the event in the paper and, if all goes as planned, I hope to have video of the parade on this blog!
In the meantime, I’ll float an idea – next year the McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce should consider changing the event’s name back to Pony Express Days.
Pony Express Days, which began in the 1960s, was changed to Azalea Festival a few years ago. The idea was to re-brand the event and make it more relevant to the local populous.
Seems like everywhere I’ve gone in the last few weeks, people comment about how they dislike the name change. They want the old festival name back.
The comments are unsolicited and come from a broad cross-section of the community. Some folks get downright angry about the name change, but I understand the motivation behind it. There were some years of declining attendance and there was an effort to revitalize the festival. I’m not going to fault the volunteers who put on the event for trying something new.
But there’s clearly a strong sentiment in favor of changing the name back. I think this provides the chamber with an excellent marketing opportunity for 2009. The theme could revolve around celebrating McKinleyville’s heritage. Maybe the grand marshals could be those who have lived here for more than 50 years, or 70 years, or ????
Why not honor the town’s past?