Feeling grateful

It's nearly two weeks now since the 2015 Watch City Steampunk Festival—are we allowed to call it the 5th Annual if the Festival skipped a year?—and finally things have settled down to the point where I can begin to reflect and appreciate so many people, and things.

First and foremost, I am so grateful to the many thousands of people who flooded downtown Waltham on Saturday, May 9, 2015: You really made the Watch City Steampunk Festival. Thank you!

Photo Credit: Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis

But it takes a village to transform a village like Waltham into Watch City. It takes a strong and sustained commitment from a great many people, many of whom will forever be anonymous. I made an early effort to publicly appreciate major contributors to the reinvigoration of Watch City in an article for the Waltham News Tribune.

But on Festival Day I saw so many OTHER people adding their talents and energy, from volunteer performers to workers from the city's Consolidated Public Works and Wires Departments to the Waltham Police and Police Auxiliary who provided essential services to keep the Festival running smoothly and the Common clean throughout the day, and then to The Nelson Companies pitching in to tidy things up so well when it was over. As I pulled out of City Hall parking lot just shy of 8:00pm, I glanced over my shoulder and marveled at how there was hardly a trace of the 10,000+ strong throng, that somehow it was possible to think that I'd imagined the whole thing! - To you whose names I'll never know, 10,000 times: Thank you!

Also heretofore anonymous, however, are two people whose invisible but crucial commitment and effort revivified Watch City for the benefit of us all: Lisa Lorgeree and Doug Waybright. Titles aside (they are, respectively, the President and Vice President of the Downtown Waltham Partnership, the host entity of our Festival), the Watch City Steampunk Festival's great comeback in 2015 wouldn't have happened without Doug, who recognized the potential of the Downtown Waltham Partnership to meet the challenge of hosting our Festival and convinced the DWP to take it on after the Charles River Museum could not; and our comeback would not have been possible without Lisa, who was a one woman whirling dervish of a street team, helping secure venues, sponsors, and many other critical, hidden assets that helped Watch City steam on. To you, Lisa and Doug, I offer the thanks of the Waltham and Steampunk communities.

This shot was taken just before the Opening Ceremonies on Festival Day. From right to left, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, Downtown Waltham Partnership President Lisa Lorgeree in her full Steampunk splendor, and Kelly Hill, an active Board Member of many Waltham nonprofits.

This shot was taken just before the Opening Ceremonies on Festival Day. From right to left, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, Downtown Waltham Partnership President Lisa Lorgeree in her full Steampunk splendor, and Kelly Hill, an active Board Member of many Waltham nonprofits.

In closing, I want to offer up A BIG THANK YOU TO THE SPONSORS of the Watch City Steampunk Festival. Our Festival was only possible because of our Sponsors... and because of our Sponsors, the Watch City Steampunk Festival was FREE! How cool is that?

For the entire Organizing Committee of the 2015 Watch City Steampunk Festival, this was a great experience for our City and our Steampunk Community. Citizens of Waltham, Steampunk citizens of Watch City, we thank you for having us and see you next year!

- Bob Perry, Lead Organizer