SAI Staff Writer Kolby Harrell shares his personal experience with Food Day 2013 as we serve up a fresh batch of festival photos!
“As I parked at the Savannah Food Day Festival on Saturday, I dented the front of my car on one of those small wooden posts running through Daffin Park. And so began my cynical rant about festivals. Most festivals are just festivals, I thought. They have the typical festival trappings – food, vendors, live music, raffle tickets – and they’re attended by typical festival-goers. Parking’s a headache, the lines are unnecessarily long and sweaty, and it smells like port-a-johns and giant deep fryers.
It didn’t take long for my disenchantment to fade.
I realized it after I’d just finished talking to third graders from Savannah Country Day who were donating the proceeds from their homemade soaps to Kiva. I was sitting under a tent, with a newly purchased bag of stone ground grits laying across my lap, listening to a workshop on organic farming. As I scribbled notes on the back of a lengthy handout about composting, with a pen I’d recently used to sign a petition supporting the Federal labeling of GMOs, the word “festival” suddenly seemed trite. This was something bigger. Something important.
Savannah Food Day was equal parts celebration and movement. It was a community at work to create an organic, healthy-living, sustainable utopia. The vendors and exhibitors were wholesome and engaging, and everyone involved seemed to be a catalyst for change.
The food was healthy and locally sourced. The sounds of local musicians reverberated through the trees. Local artists painted portraits while kids pressed pins, made homemade playdough and colored pictures with potatoes at Art Rise Savannah’s booth. Farmers sold produce and kindly leaned in to offer advice the way only a farmer can. There were valet bike parking services, petitions to sign and co-ops to join. Workshops on urban homesteading, sustainable diets and seasonal cooking.
I’ve never left a festival feeling so refreshed or having acquired so much knowledge as I did at Savannah’s third annual Food Day. With the support of a like-minded, collaborative community, I left awakened and salubrious.
And so, empowered to make some lifestyle changes, I walked back to my car, hammered out the dent in my front bumper and, with it, my negative, preconceived notion of festivals.”
Photos by Rebecca Proudfoot, Isaac McCaslin & Kayla Goggin