In small Maine towns, there is always lots to do.
If you are involved in the events that happen in the village. Fund raisers for someone burned out, burdened with sickness let the members of the community feel needed. And those on the receiving end of the help know they are loved collectively and individually.
The connection is strong in the smaller populated areas of Maine where you can have entire townships, plantations that number under 100 for the total small town head count.
So using the few folks you have to assemble an event takes logistics, being able to delegate to avoid burn out. So it is not Johnny One Time. They never pitch in again.
Even though as you get down to the wire, just doing it yourself. Can seem easiest because time is short. And so much to do before this event arrives. The next one, another right after that has to be tackled. Chop chop. All year round for the rest of your life.
The focus of the event in a small Maine town like the living there is always keep it simple.
Within budget of time and resources. To assure it was fun to attend, for the workers too. And knowing you want the largest audience served means put yourself in the audience. It is many small extra touches that put an event over the top easily, successfully. But not if open ideas are not allowed to happen on the committee planning, executing the small Maine town activity.
Too many cooks in the kitchen can be strong personalities that see it one way, mine. So don’t open your pie hole.
Pipe down. Just do what you are told. A here, read the latest memo. “The beatings will continue until the morale improves” pirate logic shared. Only their way or walk the plank and the distracting from the all important event or task at hand tug of war ensues. Like the shoot out at high noon out front the saloon on Main Street, the only road in and out.
Instead of guns blazing, the smell of burnt powder, caving in can happen. To keep the peace. But the fun gets sucked out of the event before it even gets started. The event suffers if all those good ideas are handcuffed, stifled. That let each of the members behind the curtain putting it into gear are not allowed ownership of the original, home grown great ideas.
If they are shelved.
In the case of a meal, in small Maine towns the hoity toity expensive, exotic, fancy foreign dishes are not what heads the top of the list for best dining fare.
To please the crowd. Instead thinking like what your grandmother served up on the holidays is what satisfies most. If in generous supply so no one leaves hungry. Or has to second mortgage their house, sell a duplicate organ to pay for it.
And like any family gathering, it is not one lone cook doing all the work wearing the apron in the pantry. It is “what can I bring” asked. Knowing your killer cinnamon rolls, green bean casserole or baked beans, garlic red potatoes with cheese are something like ambrosia, nectar, food for the Gods. If it works in your household, the public supper audience will love it too.
One by one the covered dish approach of potluck that always turns out balanced and wonderful happens.
Partly because of the ease of what each cook does to please their role in the event. In everyone, many are in this event together fashion. Never is the desire to draw attention to one that hogs all the credit, has an agenda to be in the limelight center stage.
And if fund raising is part of the annual or individual event reason to happen, the profit is in the expenses. Not to be frittered. Even if the most verbal planner spends money like a drunken sailor. Goes through their fingers like a sieve.
If the focus on simple dining and everyone pitches in to provide it together theme stays strong. Not changes to store bought and not the normal ingredients the small Maine town is used to dining on in their own homes.
Reaching out to get more involved is one more building block of successful small Maine town event planning.
Many hands make light work in the small Maine town community action. And experiences to be their strongest, most memorable. Mean tap all the senses. It is not just good, hot, plentiful food prepared by the hands of many. But the other senses brought to the party besides just the taste buds.
Like dining out, music, the right kind, level and knowing the target audience of the event. What most of them would enjoy in the background if you were out there sitting at the table. Not slaving, slinging the hash, washing dishes behind the scenes. To attend to the details that keep the event humming. Purring right along like clockwork. As folks file in, dine, socialize and then free up the space for others right behind them.
Lighting, efficiency of the layout of seating, the temperature being just right, friendly servers involving the youth especially make it all like the hair of gold’s porridge. Just right.
When you ask other local Maine businesses and local community members would they like to be part of the event. And give suggestions on what we need to round it out, make sure to give heapings of recognition.
Small hand scribed cards angled just so as the delicious food is sampled. To know who had a hand in where it came from and to add to the feeling everyone pitched in. To spur others to who missed this event but that won’t happen again. Getting on board. To want to be part of something that grows from a spark ember. To become wild fire.
Bring in some local displays of what artisans create… that can tie in with the event and give some audio visuals.
The folks in those circles would be glad to do the leg work of delivery, pick up for what is put on display to add to the event. Cross promotion happens and not a dime or finger was lifted after the request goes out. Delegating bits and pieces of the event creates the magic of the take away. Felt during clean up and review of why it went so smoothly.
Flowers that are in over supply and destined for a dumpster in a few days have plenty of life for center pieces. Again with the little sign to know who donated them, to give credit where due in the big thank you.
The local businesses want to pitch in with products for door prizes to raise money. Not by writing another check. Realizing there are so many worthwhile causes needing funding and that small Maine town businesses get hit hard. But if you can make it a pan of this or tray of that from something in the food, farming industry. It is easier for them to say yes, step up. I can help and contribute in ways other than money in the small Maine town worthwhile event.
Making it a trade out with the positive public relations pay back picking up the tab. Because you thank them using social media, piggybacking on other no or low cost means to give credit where due. So they step up for other events too because not over taxed. In finding ways that they can join forces and help out in a small Maine town.