Another Sandy Springs Festival has come and gone — this one suffering a bit of a Saturday afternoon washout. It is never too early to start thinking about next year and what might be done to make the event even better.

There were some new touches added to the festival this year that added interest, especially for young people.

But, here are the few items I feel need serious consideration — or maybe re-consideration — based on my observations and comments gleaned from others who spent time and money at the festival.

First, there is the $5 entrance fee. Except for the Yellow Daisy Festival, I don’t know of another in the area that charges people to get in the gate. I think it is a deterrent to people attending, especially with so many people out of work and the cost of taking out a family of four or more. It seems to me the vendor fees should pay enough so that people can attend free and spend their money on food and items they purchase.

Then on top of the entry fee, there are other charges that simply seem a little steep, especially where children are involved. For instance, another $5 per child to pan for some questionable precious stones….or a $2 ticket to climb up to the top of one of the slides and experience a single thrill of the sliding trip down. Want to slide again? Fork over another $2 ticket. Why can’t a $2 ticket allow children to slide as many times as they can in a 10-minute period?

Second, the arts and crafts — especially the arts — need to be upgraded a notch or few. In order to do that, however, might require a juried art show as part of the program. Elevating the arts aspect of the festival I believe will draw a great deal more people — and spenders instead of just walkers.

Adding more and better crafts vendors also would increase attendance in my opinion.

Third, I think the festival just needs to be less of a business expo and more of festival. Let the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber handle the business-to-business expo.

Those are my thoughts. However, I do know that the festival is a good outlet for the Reporter newspapers staff to come face-to-face with the community and people we serve. I thoroughly enjoy that.

Condolences and best wishes

It was good to see Sandy Springs Dist. 6 City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen-McEnerny at the festival. We sort of knew she would be there greeting her constituents, even after suffering the great loss of her husband’s death the previous weekend.

Harry McEnerny died Saturday, Sept. 19, with his wife Karen at his side. The 70-year-old had suffered for 10 years with a form of non-fatal leukemia called CLL.

Although I never got to really know Harry McEnerny, knowing that he fought his cancer for 10 years assures me he shared with his wife the same will to fight for a cause.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Karen McEnerny and her family. In addition to her husband, Karen has four stepchildren and a brother, sister-in-law and niece living in Sandy Springs. Her mother lives in Columbus, Ga. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Trees Sandy Springs — one of the causes for which Karen has fought so diligently.

There is a time to grieve, a time to move on, but never a time for forget. Enjoy happy memories, Karen McEnerny.