Give me 60 seconds and I will get you a free t-shirt and possibly change your life.

The following is a guest post from a great friend to the festival, Suzanne Carver.
You know those late-night infomercials for knives that can cut a watermelon with the flick of a wrist, sonic wave dog collars to put an end to nuisance barking or undergarments that promise to make you two sizes smaller instantly?
What if I had an idea for you that was better than all of those combined?  And you don’t even have to stay up too far past your bedtime to hear about it.
Have you ever wanted to do some good but not have it be clock-watching drudgery?   Do you want to ensure the success of our much-adored American Folk Festival but not miss any of the action?  Have I got a gig for you! I have a smart, easy way to feel useful and helpful all while having a fun.  And there is a chance you might even become a better person!
With just a few strokes on your keyboard you can sign up to become a volunteer at this year’s American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront and start congratulating yourself for being awesome.
I know what you are thinking, volunteering sounds like too much work and I will leave it up to those do-gooder over achievers.  But here is the secret I will tell you in this special, one-time offer: it is actually the easiest form of altruism going.  You can still have all the fun you normally have at the festival and feel like a rockstar for helping out.  I tell you, it is a sweet deal.
But WAIT!  There is more!!! You even get a free t-shirt!!!   On the back of this t-shirt, in bold, black lettering is the word VOLUNTEER.   Only volunteers can obtain this coveted this shirt.  Which means that everyone knows you are awesome just by seeing your shirt.  You must wear it for your volunteer shift but you can also wear it all weekend just to brag.  (“I see you are wearing a plain cotton t-shirt telling everyone you went to the Florida Keys.  Well, check out my shirt because I am a VOLUNTEER.”)  And because your volunteering pursuits can’t help but enhance your feelings of self-worth and pride, you may become more creative and daring and may choose to personalize your t-shirt to your liking.  You can cut off the sleeves, fringe the end, add beads or tie it to the side Daisy Duke-style.
maya bucket
Because at the American Folk Festival we want you to be helpful and happy and even fashionable if you so desire.
I know you may be thinking, what can I possibly do to help out with such a large scale production?  No worries!  There are jobs both big and small, many hours or just a few.  If I can, as the mother of two kids, be useful to the festival than surely anyone can be.
Here is a testimonial from one festival goer (myself) in regards to the transition from attendee to AFF volunteer:
  • My family has been devoted to the Folk Festival since it’s inception in 2002.  As a pair of giddy locals thrilled at the prospect of having a cultural event land in our area, one with a plan for ongoing success, we attended with immense enthusiasm that first year.
  • And we haven’t missed a year since.
  • Our children have literally grown up at the Folk Festival, or as one of our daughters calls it “The Folk Festible”.  It is one of the highlights of our summer, an event that lands first on our busy August calendar and around which other plans must shift.  The kids look forward to it so much that this year when summer began I heard, “I wish it was time for the Folk Festival.  Except that it comes at the very end of summer and I don’t want summer to be over yet.”
  • Now that our children are older, we volunteer as a family in the incredibly fun and rewarding “bucket brigade”.  Our job is arduous: we rove around the festival listening to the music we love, smiling and greeting people, making general conversation with festival goers about what music they have enjoyed, collecting money that people freely place in our donation buckets and handing out stickers.
  • And while certainly not in the job description of a bucket brigader, our children have been moved to do some rather creative dancing solos for the crowd’s enjoyment.
  • If you decide you want to volunteer in this capacity, may I recommend that you employ the assistance of a small child.  There is a noticeable difference in how full the bucket gets in the absence or presence of our children.  I tell you, people just can’t help but give money to little kids.
kick in
But that isn’t all!!!  There are so many volunteer positions that need filling to make the show go on that you can even be placed in a position suitable to you, your schedule, your strengths and your availability!  If you aren’t a social butterfly, you can work behind the scenes.  Don’t want to miss a second of the music?  You can help with set-up or take-down.  Can’t get around all that well?  You can have a seated, stationary post.
Can it get better than that?  Of course it can.
You also get free parking vouchers, free cold water (and sometimes even candy) and an invitation to the after-party with the performers!   All this for no monthly installments of $0!!!
And if that isn’t enough incentive, there is always the bag of kettle corn you can buy that is almost as big as my daughter.
el popcorn
All of this, the free stuff, the fun, the self-congratulatory pats on the back, the feeling of belonging to a wonderful group of festival volunteers, the inherent sense of purpose in contributing to an event you love can all be yours for one small volunteer shift of less than 3 hours.
Act now! Sign up now before all the best positions are snatched up by other people seeking the lazy-man’s altruism!  What are you waiting for?   It is offered right now, only once a year. This is the kind of fun and meaningful contribution that you can’t find in stores.  Operators are standing by!
Now you can go to bed.