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Changing the Strawberry Festival's name makes little sense | Letter to the Editor
Our Strawberry Festival has had that name for over 30 years. Changing it because a few folks can’t find strawberries is at most a poor excuse for such an iconic Island event. Nor does changing the name to more reflect the music, art and food make sense, because those things are considered synonymous with the word “Festival” already. And if you still insist on changing the name to reflect more on art and music, we can just blend in among so many other art and music festivals throughout our area.
Moreover, there’s a risk the public will misunderstand and think it’s a whole new event, no matter how long you try to subtly change the name from one to another. Changing such a well-recognized name both on and off the Island defies the basic principles of effective promotion, marketing and the benefits recognized from logo/brand recognition. Unless there is an unquestionably good reason to do so, you will have squandered years of promotional equity, a value that doesn’t come easily nor cheaply for any fundraising event.
Furthermore, I view changing the name as undermining the historical value and familiarity of our Strawberry Festival over several generations of both Islanders and visitors alike. I trust that the Chamber’s underlying reason for changing the name is to attract more visitors to Strawberry Festival. For the reasons given, it’s beyond better judgment how changing our festival’s name accomplishes that.
And oh yes, advise those handful of folks looking for strawberries to drop by the Rotary strawberry booth. It’s one of the festival’s largest booths and a great place to buy anything from strawberry shortcake to strawberry sundaes to buckets of strawberries!
— Gary Sipple