I’ll expose some of my thoughts on the Festival Theme so you have some appreciation for how challenging it is to come up with a unique one. This is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s right up there. What makes it worse is I will need to be passionate enough about the theme to present it in large group settings. I don’t do well in those settings without really wanting to be there.
By convention, the theme should (but not always) contain some overt reference to the fruit strawberry. Berry is everyone’s favorite. Some general chairman have simply reference Strawberry in their phrase. Our mayor – Mike Beamish – chose a more unique variant of “The Time is Ripe”, violating the letter of the convention but not the spirit. Other references that work (although not exhaustive) include ‘vine’, patch, seeds and stem. I’d love more ideas in this space.
Area of Interest
The second rule with coming up with a theme is to use as a basis, something the general chairman is passionate about. Recent examples include song and dance, Jimmy Buffet and cars. Nostalgia and food influence many of the themes. There doesn’t appear to be a firm rule about repeating themes – but it does not appear to happen often. Patriotism was the underlying theme for both the 1981 and 2006 festivals. Contemporary cultural references are also popular. The 1993 Festival theme was “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The “World According to Strawberries” was the theme in 1983. Not surprisingly, food is a very popular theme.