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Music festival loved by all | Editorial
It’s been a week and a half, but people are still talking about the The Oak Harbor Jazz and Music Festival on Pioneer Way. It was a huge hit with visitors and locals alike. Many hundreds of folks descended to the historic downtown area to boogie up and down the road as top-notch bands played on two stages.
The first-time event went flawlessly, which is a testament to the organizers and many volunteers who worked so hard to pull off the large-scale festival in such a short amount of time.
Councilwoman Tara Hizon got it right when she said that Oak Harbor is starving for this kind of event. Something cultural, artistic and a little wild. The musicians were a mixture of local talent and well-known bands that tour nationally. More than 25 bands played a mixture of jazz, rock-and-rock, old timey music, rhythm and blues and more. The music drew children and older adults alike into the streets.
The festival was also good for downtown merchants, who struggled during a lengthy road-construction project and a down economy.
It was reported that business was brisk all Labor Day weekend, which is normally a quiet time downtown.
Michael John Paparella proposed the festival, in part, to help bring his merchants together over a common goal. He succeeded admirably.
Rhonda Severns, the city liaison, was properly feted at the last City Council meeting for her tireless work making the festival a reality. Margaret Livermore, Larry Mason, Lynn Goebel, Kelly Beedle, Michelle Curry and the Downtown Merchants Association should also take bows.
We are looking forward to another wonderful Jazz and Music Festival next year.