The Barter Fest in Hewitt was a success. These young millennials are really movers and shakers. I visited with the local pastor and an organic farmer friend of his (both appeared to be straight laced upon first look, older than me even)...they were fully supportive and even heaping accolades on these young people who are revitalizing what was a dying rural town...turning it into a real community. The pastor and the farmer had been writing to Wendell Berry for a year or so, when he invited them to come for a chat at his place in Kentucky last Easter. The pastor couldn't make it because of his congregational commitment on that date, but the farmer and a friend went. He waxed poetically on the wondrous conversation they had (mostly listening) with Wendell Berry. 4 hours on his front porch seems to have been a life changing experience for even the pastor, who wasn't there.
These young people applied for and got a large grant from The Historical Society to restore the old school in Hewitt, making it into a museum.
They are working together and doing an amazing job. On top of that, they are promoting local farmers' markets, barter fairs, concert tours and encouraging would be organic farmers to purchase the relatively inexpensive land which is available in this land of woods, good soil and water.
The days festivities and music lasted well into the night...the last band didn't end until nearly 1 am...the music began at noon. After the bandstand, lights and sound were 'torn down', the assembled musicians retreated into the Rebecca Hall (another building these folks are restoring) for a jam...such energy and positivism. Left me very optimistic.
The only rule at the festival was, "There are no rules".