Friday, February 12, 2010

Mayfest Makes a Comeback – The Tradition Continues!

At the March 12-13 Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show, visit the Benefit Booth which supports Mayfest 2010. Today I spoke with Mary Kaye Juran who is coordinating the Benefit Booth, along with all of her other volunteer leadership for Mayfest. Her vision is a booth filled with flowers, plants, antiques, art and Mayfest memorabilia, all for sale to help Mayfest return on April 29 – May 2, 2010.

“I’m growing violets,” says Mary Kaye of her plan to sell live violets planted in antique dishes and pots—including teapots, mis-matched antique china and other vintage containers. But growing violets is (hopefully) an easy task compared to her responsibility for coordinating all the shuttles and buses at Mayfest, as well as heading up the event’s headquarters. “On some days that means three meals a day for the Mayfest Committee and their families—that’s feeding about 150 a day. I’m going to start cooking early.”

What is Mayfest and why is the Dolly Johnson Show supporting it?

Mayfest is a four day festival along the Trinity River in Fort Worth that attracts over 200,000 participants in activities for all ages. As Mary Kaye puts it, “Mayfest is an important contribution to the community. It gets all aspects of the city involved together and it’s truly a family activity. You’ll see three and four generations of a family coming to Mayfest together.”

Mayfest runs this year from Thursday April 29 to Sunday May 2. Over 33 acres of fun will include seven stages of live entertainment, bringing in over 5,000 performers ranging from musical groups of all kinds to dancers, folklorico, karate, ballet, clogging and more. There will be every kind of food, arts and gifts vendors, plus games and activities, such as the ever-awaited Great American Duck Race and the Mayfest Haunted House.

Mayfest is a partnership between these groups: The Junior League of Fort Worth, Streams and Valleys, The City of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department and the Tarrant Regional Water District. Their stewardship of the event raises funds for community programs and, to date, has returned $5.8 million to community needs in Fort Worth and for enhancing the Trinity River and surrounding parks. This year, Streams and Valleys is working to extend bike trails for public use and to provide the Fort Worth Police Department with a patrol vehicle sized just right for a hiking trail.

The Trinity River, which runs through the heart of Fort Worth,  was not always as beautiful as it is today. In the 1960s various flood control ideas had turned the river into a mess of ugly floodways and ditches full of litter and debris. In 1969, a group of citizens founded Streams & Valleys in order to clean up the river and to encourage recreation and enjoyment of this unique civic asset.

The power of citizens working together paid off. By 1973 the Trinity River and surrounding parkland had fresh flowing water, 8,000 new trees and 40 miles of river trails for hiking and exercise. Even the fish and wildlife returned. A celebration of the rebirth of the Trinity River led to the annual community riverfront festival called Mayfest, now 37 years strong.

In 2009, just as the Mayfest was preparing to open, uncertainty about the H1N1 Flu Virus led to the closing of the festival, along with school closures and cancellation of other events planned in the city. The financial cost of the sudden closure was enormous. Once again, a partnership among citizens, business, government and generous donors has worked all year to raise the funds needed to bring Mayfest back on April 29 through May 2, 2010.

The 47th Annual Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show is delighted to be a part of this effort. In addition to providing a Benefit Booth, the show has donated 1,000 show tickets for Mayfest volunteers to sell in the month of February, with 100% of those proceeds going directly to Mayfest.

We also have worked closely with area antique shops who have generously donated art, antiques and gift certificates to be sold in the Benefit Booth. So far, those donors include:

Benbrook Antique Mall
Camp Bowie Mercantile
Carter Bowden Antiques
K. Flories Antiques
Montgomery Street Antique Mall
Mosley’s Memories Estate Sales
Old Home Supply
Pease-Cobb Antiques
RetroMania Antiques
Simple Things

Of course many of the Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show exhibitors will also put some Flower Power behind Mayfest by contributing antiques and art, including yours truly, Hot Tamale Antiques---and all of her friends. To contribute, email me at JanOH4(at)aol(dot)com

The photo here shows Kitty Welch of the Mayfest office with one of the prints that will be for sale at the booth. These magnificent signed and numbered bird prints were created by Fort Worth artists Scott and Stuart Gentling several years ago, as a gift for Mayfest. Now their gift will help Mayfest recover and return as a jewel in the crown on the cowgirl hat of Fort Worth, Texas. See all about Mayfest at

Get lucky and you could win free tickets to Mayfest for your family as one of the door prizes at the Friday March 12 Happy Hour Party from 4-7 pm at the Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show, which will soon be here.

Welcome back, Mayfest! The Tradition Continues!
See Show Info and Happy Hour Party Plans at

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