Planting the Grass Roots
The summer of 1993 spawned the birth of two gatherings; Cecilfest and the Festival of the Equinox. These parties were very sweet and very primitive. The stage was small, cure the trails were few, the power unstable, and many lost their way unable to find us. They missed two beautiful gatherings and when they encountered folks who made it; they knew the loss was substantial. Still many came, determined to party. Friendships were made and were rekindled at following parties. Everyone had an awesome time so we decided to party the next year.

In 1994 we added a spring gathering, A Modern Day Barn Raising and Musical Celebration. Hot-air balloon rides, a hot line up of entertainment, beautiful weather, and over 250 wonderful people in attendance made this a party one to be remembered. As it turns out, the barn wasn’t built, the beer was served too soon, but everyone had an incredible time. The material was used to build the stage that we have today. All seemed to be going very well until two days before the next party, Cecilfest 94.

Facing the Local OppositionĀ 
If anyone recalls the summer of 1994 was the 25 th anniversary of Woodstock. With the success of the previous parties coupled with the Woodstock anniversary and its history caused a stir in the community. A group of ill informed county residents organized to try to stop us from having our gatherings and tried every legal way to do so. At a Board of Supervisors meeting, where the gathering was being presented and opposed, a certain Mr. White stood at the podium and announced that he was, wondering if he should be standing on his back porch with a shotgun. This sad comment was made to demonstrate, to the governing body, the extreme fear the opponents have since they learned of our intention to commit, ‘Rock n Roll!’.

Since we charged an admission and opened it up to the public, certain county offices were able to impose regulations and could have shut us down if we didn’t comply. Waiting until two days before the event, the Commissioner of Revenue informed us that we needed to pay a $1,000/day festival fee. According to the Zoning Commissioner, Clifford Park is not a designated camping area. Therefore, tents were not permitted for sleeping. (We just partied all night.) The Department of Transportation and Health Department also gave us a list of regulations. All of which we were happy to do so. They tried to break us, but we proved to be flexible.

The individuals against Clifford Park were able to get some action done. The next year and a half hosted several community meetings and those individuals even hired lawyers to work against us. The changes in the law made it too difficult and expensive for us to go public at that time. We have overcome this situation by going private, and the parties still continue. Even though we haven’t broken any laws, we have been subjected to surveillance from the local authorities ever since.

Summer 1998
Summer 98 spawned a renaissance at Clifford Park after a two summer break from large gatherings. Cecilfest and the Festival of the Equinox were born again, bigger and better than before. People reunited after not seeing each other after several years. Childhood friends gathered and new friendships were made. These were some incredible experiences. We are looking towards equally rewarding times in gatherings to come.

One Response to “History”

  • graphinex says:

    I’ve been to a few of these over the years and I always have a great time. Thank you Cecil for your efforts!

    – Frank and Z

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