I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
This year’s Future Fest celebration built on traditions, memories, and relationships developed over the event’s six-year history. But there was one noticeable difference that no one could ignore: this time the rains came! After a vibrant morning of fun, music, and rummage, the day was punctuated with a riot of thunder, gusts of wind, and a sudden downpour that left everyone scrambling for cover. True to the spirit of the Huss Project, this unexpected thunderstorm brought people together literally — carrying each other’s things, shuttling groups of kids indoors, and sheltering under tents and eaves. Of course, the rain couldn’t stop us. With everyone working in tandem, official volunteers and guests alike, Future Fest was back on track in about an hour. The afternoon was blue skies, blueberry donuts, and a dose of blues rock.
The old Huss School had about 600 visitors over the course of the day.
Outside, they enjoyed a day full of good company, live music, and sunny carnival. People connected with a variety of local organizations and opportunities, our partners in the Coin Carnival. Paint splattered at the Balloon Art Dart station, and bird houses were built at Construction Junction. As usual, the fun was surrounded by good food. Our day-long feast included gluten-free cookies, ready-made snow-cones, fresh-tossed salad at the farm market stand, and barbecue dinners from chefs at Ambassadors for Christ church.
Indoors, community members visited local artists and chilled with friends and baked good in the Future Fest cafe. Many staged their celebrity photo shoot in our photo booth. Others were focused on finding that special something in the huge first-floor rummage sale. Along the way, everyone had the chance to see brand new mural installations, as well as posters, paintings, and architectural sketches that recall the school’s past, map its place in Three Rivers, and envision plans for its future.
Like any community event, people came together for different reasons. Some wanted to see friends, old and new. Others wanted to spend their Saturday relaxing in the sun or shade. I met several guests who were excited to take a peek inside the school they attended decades ago as students. And I’m sure many came just to find a good deal or a good meal — or both. For example, many stopped by the annual Back to School Celebration, where elementary, middle, and high school students could get a free slice of Hovey’s pizza along with a brand-new pencil- and notebook-loaded backpack (courtesy of Three Rivers Area Faith Community, or TRAFC). Whatever their reasons, people pitched in. All told, this year’s celebration raised more than $4,000 for the Huss Project — a record-breaking gift to the future of this place.
Speaking of which: we’ll see you again next year!