Old Town Festivals, How to Spread the Word

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As festival season approaches in Lansing’s Old Town, the new festival director is dedicated and eager to spread the word about the handcrafted Festival of the Moon and Sun.

Kelsey Maccombs, festival director as of January 2012, will offer minor changes in the festivities of the thirteenth annual Festival of the Moon and Sun, taking place June 22 and 23 of this year, with a new take on advertising and entertainment.

The festival, which celebrates the shortest night and longest day of the year with local beverages, food and entertainment will, as always, be raising money for Old Town Commercial Association’s annual budget.

“The Festival of the Sun and Moon, as well as Old Town Oktoberfest, raise about 70 percent of OTCA’s budget,” Maccombs said.

The success of these events determines whether or not OTCA is able to allocate monies for committee projects such as new benches or banners, according to Old Town’s Web site.

Maccombs felt a change needed to be made regarding how to spread the word of the festival, as social media hadn’t been used as heavily in the past.

“I’m passionate about building this event because I know that attendees have a great time and always look forward to coming back,” Maccombs said. “The trick is to just get more and more people aware.”

When it comes to food, beverages and entertainment, Old Town emphasizes the idea that the Festival of the Moon and Sun is completely handcrafted.

“We use Michigan beers and wines, local food vendors (with as many as possible from Old Town) and local talent,” Maccombs said.

This year the OTCA has booked local band, Frontier Ruckus, as their headliner for the Festival of the Sun.

“We are definitely focusing on larger entertainment this year and it’s very exciting to have a popular band from Lansing as our headliner,” Louise Gradwohl, OTCA executive director said.

The festival will be run similar to previous years and will be sponsored by Bells Brewery of Kalamazoo, Mich.

Bells Brewery was not available for contact but has sponsored the festival in previous years and will provide beer for the Friday night festivities.

Under the new director, advertising has become an important element in promoting the festival.

“Nothing is confirmed yet, but we are looking at designing a billboard and using other forms of advertising to help spread the word,” Gradwohl said.

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