New Event Name: The suggestion of a new name for this event actually came from Pablo Antonio himself. The well-known bandleader understood the Festival’s desire to tie into the excitement of the re-opening of Cuba to outside visitors. He understood the desire to connect with “Havana;” but, he felt that Caribbean aficionados might feel that the band was only going to play Cuban music; and, he wanted to be sure that the public knew that they were going to cover the whole spectrum of hot/hot/hot Caribbean rhythms.
New Event Location:Of course, as is the case with all of the Festival events that were at the Festival Event Tent at the Winchester Medical Center last year, this event has moved to the brand new Tolley Dental Zone at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center at Shenandoah University. Pablo Antonio y La Firma will be tearing up the Tolley Dental Stage with the hottest merengue, salsa, and cumbia.
Note: Parking at the Wilkins Center – Latest Information:
It would appear that the jury is still out on whether the new parking garage on the Shenandoah University campus will be finished by Festival Time. Currently, negative opinions seem to be outweighing positive opinions. Festival events will end up drawing in the range of 150 to 500 cars depending on the event. There is on-site parking in the various existing parking lots for about 250 cars. The County Fire Marshal has ascertained that Ralph Shockey Drive is wide enough to allow parking on one side of the road; but, it is doubtful, even with that allowance, that 500 cars could be parked in the immediate vicinity of the event center. Parking in other parts of the Campus; or, in the College Park Subdivision; or, on the parking lots of businesses on Millwood Avenue could be problematic. The Festival is currently investigating all possible solutions, including shuttles, in case the parking garage is not finished.
New Crafter Recruitment Effort: In 2018, through re-doubled efforts on the part of Event Organizers, there will be 90 to 100 Crafters at the Arts and Crafts Show. At this time, at least forty-two of the Crafters will be new to the event. Crafters are coming to the Festival from: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Delaware and Colorado. A wide variety of items will be sold, including: Bee traps, baskets, furniture, quilted items, hats, art candles, floral arrangements, wind chimes, children’s clothing, chocolates, body art and jewelry.
Modified Layout: New for 2018, Event Organizers have tweaked the layout of the Arts and Crafts Show so that the pleasantly winding path follows ground that is less muddy.
Installation of Debit/Credit Card Readers: Festival Organizers have realized for some time that many Festival attendees, particularly younger Festival attendees, simply do not carry cash anymore. Card readers are not a problem for the Festival in store-type locations; but, they can be a problem where power sources and Internet connections are primitive. The Festival has vowed, however, that, one way or another, remote credit/debit card readers will be available at all of the WIP entrance gates. The Festival cannot control how Crafters and Vendors take payment; so, ATM machines will also be available.