For the Rev. Debra Maconaughey at St. Columba Episcopal Church and all involved in bringing the first Florida Keys Celtic Festival to life, I want to thank the Keynoter for your great help in getting the word out to the readers. Your coverage before and after the event encouraged many Keys residents and visitors to find their way to the Marathon Community Park where, from all reports we had, they had a great time.
By every measure, this first festival was a tremendous success, bringing guests from all over the East Coast -- from Maine to Florida, from Canada, Russia, Switzerland, France and the Caribbean.
Our entertainers came to Marathon from all the way up the road to Massachusetts. Many of the entertainers, vendors and tech people commented on what a great venue the Community Park is, and how lucky we are to have such a fine facility in Marathon.
The best calculation is that well more than 1,100 people attended the festival during the Friday evening and Saturday run, with 43 percent coming from outside Monroe County. All who participated in the event brought good will and business to Marathon.
The proceeds from the festival will help fund the many community outreach programs St. Columba supports in Marathon and the rest of the Middle Keys. The festival committee is in the planning stages now, trying to plot a course for another, bigger and even more lively festival next January.
Sandy Bourgeois, chairwoman
Florida Keys Celtic Festival