Jazz in the Pines goers experience a different idea of the festival than community members.
The visitors enjoy extraordinary music and a relaxed ease that comes from the meandering festival layout, floating parachutes, artistic vendors and wafting scents of roasting almonds, Thai food and barbecue, among other delights.
They probably also notice, because they can’t help but weave around them, people steering golf carts — the only vehicles allowed during festival hours.
I watch the same volunteers, delivering people and supplies to their rightful destinations, drive exhaustively back and forth past the Town Crier booth during both days of the festival. And within and without the venues, more people keep the festival wheels rolling.
These volunteers, such as Marsha Lytle and Chris Trout, Pete and Suzy Capparelli, Ted and Joyce Cummings, Chris and Gigi Kramer, Rick Foster, Nancy Layton, Richard Collins, Marilyn Kemp, Regina Caron, Jim Crandall and many, many others, are Idyllwild, Pine Cove, Mountain Center and Garner Valley.
Without them, our gorgeous and unique mountain communities, not to mention the jazz fest, that these numerous visitors come to enjoy, would not exist.
Those involved with the festival know of and even may be involved in the backstage tensions and stresses that come before, during and after the festival, but from an observer’s standpoint, the festival operates more and more seamlessly each year.
The same volunteers, and some new, step up to the plate annually. But volunteers wear out.
Marsha Lytle is worn out. Chris Trout is worn out. And so, without someone to step in to take their places, will Idyllwild’s biggest festival, which brings people with whom to share our unique and beautiful communities, continue into its 21st year?