Festa della Primavera, April 30, 2006

Piglets and chickens, canning jars overflowing with tulips, and the friendly faces of the Spannocchia community filled the fields, barn and hoop house at Turkey Hill Farm. As I glanced across the crowd, it was a joy to see families making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and taking part in outdoor activities. Spring had arrived in all its splendor. People were playing bocce, children were holding rabbits and piglets or drinking peach juice while listening to Lorna, our wonderful storyteller.

With every event, there comes an enormous amount of preparation with a number of people involved in the planning and organization of an event. Everyone contributes in some manner to make it all happen — from auction committee members and event volunteers, to donors and sponsors. When the day arrives, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing everyone enjoying themselves and reaping the fruits of their labor. It extends beyond these people and to their friends and neighbors and community that made up a total of 150 attendees. Indeed, it was a good celebration.

The hoop house was filled with silent auction items ranging in categories and reaching all audiences. A few bidding wars occurred but the majority of attendees left with an item they were pleased to win. Between rounds of bids, people indulged in mussels, a deliciously colorful assortment of vegetables, focaccia bread and pizza grilled over a wood fire, reminiscent of pizza night at Spannocchia. John Bliss and Stacy Brenner, our gracious hosts at Turkey Hill Farm, led farm tours and made every effort to greet and mingle with our guests.

A parade of Waynflete students waving Palio flags led the crowd from the silent to live auction. The live auction items proved to be creative, unique and festive. As the evening light disappeared so did our crowd. Tired children and adults left with their items and packets of herb or flower seeds in hand ready to continue the celebration of spring and reflecting the spirit of Spannocchia.

Every detail was worth our efforts. We raised $24,400 to support the Spannocchia Foundation. Our inaugural efforts at including members from afar through an online auction component were very successful too. I miss the piglets, the space and feeling of a farm, the sounds of laughter and music and the friends that gathered for our Festa della Primavera. Thank you for your presence and making our event so special. We hope we can carry this festive energy to Spannocchia.