With my plans to go with my mom to Helen Keller Festival next weekend, I figured it might not be a bad idea to make a fun post about what I learned my first year attending. You see, Helen Keller Festival always happens either on or during the official date for summer. As the festival starts official tomorrow, summer begins officially on Wednesday. We will definitely been in the deep heat of summer when the concerts begin this weekend.
My first year as miserable between the summer heat and the rain that came through earlier in the week that made it muggy. We literally had to go get the umbrellas out of the car to even make a difference in the heat.
My first suggestion is that if you are looking to get parking as close to the park as possible then you should plan on getting there as early as possible because parking in the actual park is only allowed in one parking lot. Most places you park, especially if it’s a business, are going to have a fee, unless you’re like me and my mom and have made friends locally to allow you to park somewhere for free. Be prepared for a walk down to the park. There are trolleys that make stops and you can find the schedule here. So you don’t always have to walk unless you get lucky and park close enough to not have to take the trolley.
Coolers & Pets are a NO-GO
Per the General Info page I linked to in the previous paragraph, you cannot take coolers or alcohol into the park. However, they are allowed for medical purposes and cannot be larger than 12×12. There are sponsors that are around the area and some will give out ice cold water in the tiny bottles. Most of the food vendors sell either waters or cokes – Apologies I’m southern we call all sodas “cokes” – so you can definitely pay for a larger size water. No taxes so it’s a definite plus. Sponsors will also be passing out the paper fans, but I’d highly suggest going somewhere to pick up a good functional hand fan – my personal favorite is The Eclectic. She’s actually just ordered some more and they’ll be in by the weekend so they’re perfect for the festivals!
You also cannot bring pets in unless their for personal/medical aid. I know, most people would love to get their pets out and about with the family, but I totally get why they do it due to the storms that had a tendency to come through and although most pets don’t have a problem with them, there are some that do. It’s better to have precautions in order than to worry about pets getting loose.
Cash is the GO-TO
While there are some vendors that have the little square pay app on their smart phones at the Festival, definitely make sure you have some cash. Majority of the vendors only deal in cash so make sure you have some on you. I don’t want to make suggestions on amounts, but carry what feels comfortable and keep it in a safe place.
Lawn Chairs or Beach Blankets
The area where they have the festival is a beautiful grassy area – perfect for picnics when the Festival isn’t going on. So bring your lawn chairs or you can pull a me! I’m taking my beach blanket that I got at the Lilly For Target sale last year. It’s cool and comfortable and perfect for picking spots on the edge where the shade is. That’s the best place to be. And if you’re going to try and get a shady spot, get there early! Yeah you’re going to be waiting for the music to start, but let me tell you that gives you plenty of time to check out all the vendors… And participate in my favorite thing.
Cameras are a MUST!
Yes, my favorite part of any festival! Cameras are most definitely allowed! The park has a beautiful waterfall to take photographs of and not to mention that as long as you’re taking photo while sitting, you can get close to the stage and take pictures – or at least we had the opportunity to this past year. I hopefully will get to do so again because I adore getting awesome photographs of the performers. It also helps me practice my photography on the fly.
Lightweight Clothing & Sunscreen
Do not wear dark clothes. Even if it is an evening festival, I would highly suggest wearing lightweight clothing. Lightweight dresses the whole nine yards. But also make sure if you’re going to have skin exposed during the earlier part of the evening, please make sure to have sunscreen on and to reapply. I’ve already had my one burn of the summer so I definitely plan on having sunscreen on earlier in the evening.
So there you have it! My survival tips for Helen Keller Festival… And well any festival that takes place really. Make sure you always check the information given by the websites though because things can always change at the drop of a hat.