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Boise GoddessFest

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Review by Jeffrey Bulger

Belly Dancers at GoddessFest 2012 (Cable Muse Network) Jeffrey Bulger

July 29, 2012 (CableMuse.com) -- The annual GoddessFest took place this past weekend, July 28-29, in Boise, ID at Julia Davis Park. The festival is a celebration of alternative culture and offers vendors, belly dancers, and various artists a chance to display their talents. In addition to musical performances and dances, the GoddessFest featured face painting, psychic readings, and a bevy of other vendors to suit everyone's fancy.

Starting in 1995 and put on each year by the Golden Thread Grove Church ATC, GoddessFest has long been a staple of the downtown Boise community. A large assortment of the community, young and old, attend each year to enjoy the festivities. This year, however, there was a marked decline in overall tents and booths set up for the festival, as well as quite fewer patrons than the previous year I had visited. The official Facebook page of GoddessFest showed that overall confirmed attendance via "likes" received had dropped considerably.

GoddessFest 2012 (Cable Muse Network) Jeffrey Bulger
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Despite a drop in attendance and the burning heat, which was in excess of 95 degrees, the festival drew a respectable amount of guests. Of those I spoke to many had been coming for years, and intended to do so for quite some time. I did, however, run into people who had no idea there was even a festival taking place, with one man asking "Is there some kind of children's festival going on over there?". A lack of marketing and advertising notwithstanding, the visitors that were there for the festival did seem to enjoy the broad array of personalities and entertainments that made up the atmosphere of GoddessFest.

GoddessFest 2012 (Cable Muse Network) Jeffrey Bulger

As with any event worth attending, the main thing of interest to me is the actual attendees themselves. GoddessFest brings out a wide variety of Idahoans from Boise, the surrounding cities, and the greater Treasure Valley. It became obvious to me as I spoke to the various attendees that there is a sense of community surrounding GoddessFest, which is definitely something worth celebrating.

Julia Davis Park (Cable Muse Network) Jeffrey Bulger

The site for the event, Julia Davis Park, runs along the Boise River, making the location ideal for those wanting to get out of the heat and cool off in the water. I spotted several people taking advantage of this, including those who had brought their dogs along to join in the festivities of the day.

Being a haven for alternative cultures and lifestyles, members of the LGBT community also attended the event. Despite being the capitol of one of the most conservative states in America, Boise is known for being one of the most liberal and accepting cities within the state. Events such as GoddessFest and Pride allow members of the LGBT community to seek other like-minded individuals in a festive setting, free of being ostracized in a seemingly otherwise conservative wasteland. 
 

Despite a smaller attendance than previous years and the aforementioned heat, I enjoyed my time at GoddessFest and I do hope that next year brings out a larger turnout. And maybe some burgers for the meat eaters out there such as myself, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that one.

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