Opinion: CarmelFest hits the highest note


What a swan song it was for outgoing CarmelFest Chairman Jeff Worrell! With near-perfect weather powering a can-do, all-volunteer team, the event, presented by the Rotary Club of Carmel and several sponsors (Current in Carmel among them), was, by any and every measure, a resounding success! Kind of like the fireworks that capped it on July 4. There wasn’t a single lull in activity or attendee traffic July 3 or 4, and the festival just might have topped 60,000 in attendance for its two-day run; it didn’t hurt that the “Greatest Festival in Indiana” encompassed a Thursday and a Friday, leading into a “recovery weekend” for many. The energy seemed super-abundant from the Kidzone north through the marketplace and Gazebo area and to the North Zone. The layout was modified to encourage more pedestrian traffic, and that paid off. We talked with a number of food vendors and others selling wares, and everyone was upbeat. One of the really terrific facets of CarmelFest is that its leadership always listens. The improvements may seem minor to the attendee, but they are heavily considered before being implemented, all with an eye on improving the experience. And, thus, that was achieved. Don’t expect Worrell to ride off into the sunset. Although an able Gary Sexton will assume the reins of the festival, Worrell will be focusing on, among other things, sales of Spark Buttons, which help to defray the costs of the glorious fireworks presentation, and BANG, the exclusive fireworks-viewing and dining/entertainment option atop the parking garage of the Center for the Performing Arts. The festival continues to evolve, which is incredibly energizing, and who knows what’s next? All we can assume at this point is that whatever growth or expansion is headed our way, Sexton, Worrell and their fellow volunteers will make decisions for all the right reasons. Bring on 2015!