By Nathan, on August 13th, 2012
Every year, right before the Colorado State University and our community schools start, the Bohemian Nights Foundation and the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association put on Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. This event combines 6 stages with 90+ musical acts and booths filled with local businesses, kids’ activities, and educational opportunities. Big bands, like Michael Franti & Spearhead, Allison Krauss & Union Station, Melissa Etheridge, G-Love and Special Sauce, Earth, Wind and Fire, DeVotchka and more, headline each evening for a night and two days worth of music and community. 90 bands, mostly local, all for free; even the big guys. My kids and I go every year, where they have to put up with me distracting them from their wide-eyed booth pillaging by visiting as many interesting bands as I can pull them close to.
But this is a phenomenal example of the power and benefits of Localization. Local vendors plying their wares and services to a local clientele and some out-of-towners, local bands going elbow to elbow with nationally and critically acclaimed bands and gaining some measure of acclaim and exposure themselves, and local organizations getting some time educating people who might have a direct correlation to what needs to be done. Many, many people visited community activism booths and tents. Kids can even meet the authors and illustrators of some of their favorite books. There is a tremendous sense of community amongst the vast majority of Fest goers, giving children room in the crowds around the stages, giving people who need help a hand. But mostly it is a great act of kindness by a few very prosperous businesses to provide a wonderful experience to their community.
What does your community do for you?