I’m not saying I could do anything better when it came to all of the Yankee Homecoming events. The Lion’s Club has hosted well organized, exciting events that have made every year very memorable. The parade organizers and the committee members in charge of fireworks no one, I would say, could have done better. Such signature events as the Art in the Park, Arts & Crafts shows, Antique Show, Old-Fashioned Sunday went so smoothly – it was a triumph. The lectures, open houses, tours and (yum) food festivals were just a delight. AND THE WATERFRONT CONCERTS! Oh wow!
But please can I be put in charge of promotion next year?
The original purpose of Yankee Homecoming is outlined very simply:
Anyone who’s ancestors came from the “Newbury’s”.
Anyone who has ever lived here. (How can you ever ‘forget’ Newburyport?)
Anyone who has ever visited here. (You’re one of us, like it or not!)
Anyone who wants to learn what Newburyport has contributed to the country.(and I dare say, to the world.)
That’s a lot of people.
Sometimes an indication of an organization’s health is how many new faces are seen. You can have a church in which every pew is full and if it’s the same people Sunday after Sunday; does it indicate a congregation that is actually reaching out to the community? Do you attend a Custom House or Cushing House event and find that at every meeting, it’s the same lineup of attendees? Would you call that museum one that is actually growing? Do you go to a non-profit organization or charity in town and all you see are the same faces – will the organization survive when the members eventually move on?
So the question begs an answer. Does Yankee Homecoming attract the same old crowds every year? What percentage of the many who visit our fair city, have never been here before? Or are we attracting the same crowd, year-after-year?
This signature week-long celebration ‘saved’ Newburyport by bringing in visitors who would never have thought to visit our once-blighted urban center. They came, and with fresh eyes, saw what the locals had long taken for granted. And it was this influx of individuals with a new perspective that caused an infectious rebirth of our city.
Would a repeat of that be a great thing for Newburyport?
I would answer, yes it would.
Let’s continue with all the wonderful events that we all cherish – but let’s supercharge it with a host of new visitors.
Next year, let’s invite them!