September 21, 2006

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Generating heat
Nashua cooks up FIREFest
By Erica Febre efebre@hippopress.com

Musicians, artists and chefs of the city of Nashua come together for FIREFest, an event organized by Amethyst Wyldfyre and OM Enterprise Solutions Scheduled for Oct. 8, the events organizers hope will become an annual tradition.

FIREFest will feature more than 15 live performances on two pavilions, with an acoustic and electric stage.

There will be more than 35 booths where local businesses will showcase their offerings. Coinciding with the World Cup Soccer Tournament hosted in Nashua every year, the festival is expected to draw thousands of people, closing down East Pearl Street from Cottage to Main Street.

“When you come up with brilliant creative ideas and things, in the initial stage, fall right into your lap, that’s like getting the green light to go ahead and do it. The resources were there. It’s just taking that needle and thread and sewing them all together. It’s been a great effort to put something like this together but the pieces have all fallen right into place,” said Darla Pina, owner of OM Enterprise Solutions.

“Part of my intention, when I opened my gallery in Nashua, was to raise the visibility of Nashua as a destination location for the arts. This whole thing was put together spiritually by some angel somewhere else. It’s definitely one of those meant-to-be things, where everything has just come together like butter on toast. We’ve been very, very fortunate and we’re very thankful for all the people who have come forth to support the arts and the city,” said Amethyst Wyldfyre, owner of the gallery and store named after her.

Last year, Wyldfyre helped to kick off the Artwalk eventsheld in downtown Nashua. This year she decided to kick off FIREFest. With less than five months to organize and coordinate the details, the festival has gained the support of the local community and city officials.

“Because it’s our first year and the timing was so tight, we weren’t able to come up with a lot of cash but we have managed to have all kinds of wonderful people come forward to volunteer to help and to offer in-kind donations, so we’ve been very fortunate in that regard,” Wyldfyre said.

The Nashua Fire Department will be doing fire prevention demonstrations as FIREFest coincidentally takes place on the first day of fire prevention month. Originally there were intentions to have a fire-juggler at the festival, following the theme for FIREFest, but it was deemed too risky and conflicting with fire prevention month. Instead the fire-juggler was incorporated into the logo. Wyldfyre and Pina already are gathering idea’s for next years FIREFest.

“When you think up the idea you have no idea the level of detail that’s involved. I’ve been having dreams about balloons and Porta-potties. It’s been pretty funny but it’s a learning process and we’re collecting all the logistical information that we need for next year to make it run fairly easier and with a lot more time,” Wyldfyre said.

According to Wyldfyre most of the artists, musicians and local businesses have donated their time. Crazy Jane, a Nashua rock band, has offered to help run the sound on the electric stage. They will also perform at the festival.

“I’ve lived in Nashua since ’97 and I just think it has a lot of offer. It’s been voted twice the best city in the country to live in. There’s an amazing pool of talent in the visual and performing arts right here – a pot of gold. If I can help facilitate that, by being involved with this project that will help expose this great gem, then I’m going to do it. It’s really about showing what Nashua has to offer,” Pina said.


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FIREFest
FIREFest, which organizers hope will become an annual event, will take place in downtown Nashua on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 2 to 8 p.m. The performance lineup includes Cabaret De Boheme, Crazy Jane, “D” Heywood, DJ Alkemi, Earthship Emily Rose, Holly Mother Song, Kristan Bishop, Milagros, Nashua Theatre Guild, Fresh Taste, Northern Ballet Theatre, State of Mind, Tokyo Joe’s Martial Arts, Truffle, Yellow Taxi Productions, Alpha & Omega The First and The Last and Zahira & Sabrina Belly Dancers. For more information about the First Annual FIREFest, go to www.firefest.us.