Commentary by Bill Buchanan
“He doesn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.” This weekend, I ignored that old piece of wisdom. In the process I got soaked, but it proved to be a great decision. Sunday’s free “Day of Music” in Libbey Park was challenged by inclement weather. But many of those who came out to enjoy local acts not only didn’t care, they embraced the wet weather — and made it their partner in the celebration of the reconstruction of the Libbey Bowl.It was a sight to see.As I walked around, I was caught up in the pure joy of the celebration. Some had umbrellas and rain gear, but many did not. It didn’t make a dime’s worth of difference either way. As talented musicians played on, the crowd came alive, dancing, celebrating and loving the music. Small children danced. Young people danced. Old people danced. No one was immune from the spirit of what the opening of the bowl represented. This is what a festival is supposed to be. It was pure joy, and I was excited to be a part of it all. It reminded me of the old photos of Woodstock — people getting soaked by the rain, but not letting that “dampen” their enjoyment of the concert. It also reminded me of the pure joy I had as a child stomping through mud puddles walking home from school in the rain. The Libbey Bowl project has been large, and the construction expense is sobering. But this is a music-lovers community. After all, if people will come out and dance in the rain for hours, it shows the tremendous support for the many quality musical acts this community offers.We have great musical talent, we have a terrific new venue, and we have a lot of people who love music. The Libbey Bowl reconstruction is truly a community project. Many people have supported it with their time and money. Several of those people were on hand Friday night at the outstanding “First Blast” gala and concert that officially opened the venue. Those attending heard great South American music — and came away impressed with the acoustics and beauty of the facility. All of the elements are in place for the Libbey Bowl to be a real success. This weekend is an indication of great things to come if we continue to work together.