TroyFest planning — what it takes

Published 9:46 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Preparing for a two-day event is not something that comes with as much ease as it sounds.

That’s why TroyFest Committee Chairman Stephanie Baker said having a team has been so vital in preparing for this weekend’s event.

“I get tremendous credit because of the title, but there is no way I could do this without them,” Baker said.

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And so with her team, Baker started working on TroyFest, which will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Troy, as early as last September.

“We started in September and met monthly because even in September we have to start getting applications out, discussing plans, changes and entertainment,” Baker said. “After the holidays we started meeting more often, and we have met every week for the past six weeks.”

From recruiting artists, to marking off areas for booths, to blocking off streets downtown, TroyFest committee members have been hard-at-work preparing for the weekend.

Along with the city of Troy and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, Baker said the seven-year event has come to life through the years.

“The first year of TroyFest seven years ago, I was moving back to Troy and getting married, and I went by the square and there were probably about a dozen different vendors out there,” Baker said.

But those dozen vendors have multiplied through the years.

“It was a one-day festival when it started, and now it’s two days,” Baker said. “The first year vendors took up the inner square area, and now they take up practically all of downtown.”

Even though this year marks the seventh year TroyFest has been in the downtown area, the art festival has been a part of the city’s tradition since the years of the Jean Lake Festival.

But, long time committee members Betty Wagoner and Bill Thompson said the switch to downtown has made huge contributions to the festival’s growth.

“One of the best things we did was move from the museum to downtown Troy,” Thompson said.

“It has made a big difference as far as the support we get from the city of Troy,” Wagoner added.

This year marks the fifth year Baker has served as committee chairman, and it’s a role she said she finds fulfilling.

“I guess I find purpose in seeing our community come together for something good,” Baker said. “I now look around and see a very diverse crowd — all ages, races, creeds, sex —all united in one place in one day, so I get great pleasure in that.”

While Baker attributes the success of the festival to her committee, Wagoner said all the credit couldn’t be placed there.

“I think in order to put on TroyFest it takes a strong chair and co-chair,” Wagoner said.