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Article Specs

VxAcct: 13651

Article ID: 8638

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Posted: August 8th. 2004

Views: 9601

Starwood 2004 (2)

by Don Waterhawk

[WVox Sponsor]

Saturday came with a "sheeesh, its over" thought, but getting up with the sunny day and knowing the main fire that everyone has been waiting for all week will be lit tonight made one forget a bit that it was about over. 41 workshops were put on today, people trying to cram in the last of them before its to be all over. And then there's the long awaited during the week, "Kids Parade". I gotta tell you, its a true highlight for Daniella and I, oh yeah, for the kids too... the giant puppets, dragons, floating eyeballs and such. Even though this is for "kids", I often wonder who enjoys it more, the little ones... or the big ones... kids I mean. Being on the subject of kids, Starwood sits next to the CMA festival in Texas, as having the best children's programs at a festival. The activities and safety of the children come top notch at these two festivals. So for families that are concerned about their children having a good safe time at Starwood... well, it happens!

So night started to fall... well, the sun went down so to speak, the concert at the Main pavilion with Cyro Baptista and Beat The Donkey getting in place, people were walking around in their Saturday nite finest (which can mean dressing up or down), and the anticipation of what's to be was becoming more and more real. I stood next to Darlene,Teresa and Frank Barney, and two New York State Troopers (who by the way, think all this was way cool, even though a bit weird), and their drug sniffing dog... lol... the number of people that made a wide birth around this dog... gotta laugh. The troopers are there to keep the A****** factor to a minimum, and after talking to them for a good while, they were genuinely nice guys and enjoyed being there... and the A****** factor was nowhere to be seen... thank you guys,... And we watched as the people began pouring onto the main field, circle the large pile of logs that has taken the Firekeepers a good amount of time to set up (by the way, for all those whining people that get themselves upset about "those poor trees that were cut down"... get a life... the trees used by Brushwood are not cut down for the purpose of the Fires. They are trees that have been felled for land clearing and such, and although that's not great either, they are not purposely cut for the Fires... got it...sheesh). It got quiet... the drums started... and before one realized it, the giant pile of logs were burning with flames 200 ft in the air. Imagine 1200+ people drumming, dancing, circling around this huge fire... alright, unless you were there... you couldn't imagine it... And so it went on throughout the night until the next day when we woke up about noon, and the drums were still going on (they had moved to the roundhouse by now).

So looking out from our encampment, seeing the smoldering fire in the center of the field, and watching people tear down their camps, and cars driving away, stuffed with gear... .it seemed a bit sad that it was over... yet, the memory still exists, to this day. Watching Obie driving the tractor, with young people picking up the trash, around 6:00 p.m., you couldn't tell that there had been 1200 to 1400 people on the land. People were dropping off food that they couldn't take on a long drive home, tents were being given away, because they were to wet to pack up, and a slow drizzle of rain started to fall. It was over... or was it?

So Starwood XXIV was over. Attendance was way down, perhaps because of the weather last year that may have scared people this year. Perhaps because of the economy or the world stuff... but it was still great. Daniella said it was her best Starwood... .next year it will be Starwood XXV, 25 years of Starwood... and you can bet that ACE will make it the most memorable one...we'll see.

So thank you Starwood, ACE, Chameleons, Brushwood staff, Daltons for all your hard work to make this a memorable time. Thank you David Korup for the Butt Bongo concert, Josh for the beauty of your sounds of the 'Dige, Mino for your drum friendship and more... for these are the things that will stay with me always. Thank you Daniella, Bella, and Ingrid (just looking!) for your beauty in making me smile. To the Elders, thank you for your wisdom, to the youth...thank you for your energy. To the Barneys...thank you for your land. the darkness fell, Daniella and I walked down to the roundhouse for the last time ... a few dancers slowly circling the fire and a man playing an instrument much like an accordion, with sounds like I have never heard before, and the lone drummer sitting there... a 7 year old girl with a large djembe, playing softly, not missing a beat... letting me trance out, connecting with Spirit, and giving me the best ending I could have ever asked for... .oh...thank you... !

In the Realm of the Sacred Circle,
Don and Daniella WaterHawk

Photo Credits: These Beautiful photos were captured digitally by Don Waterhawk of Waterhawk Creations

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Location: Fort Myers, Florida


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