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Help make Robin Hood Festival a magical event: volunteer

Festival still needs girls and teens for Maid Marian Court
by: Contributed photo, READY OR NOT, HERE I COME — The 2007 Maid Marian Court hides behind a tree in Old Town Sherwood during last year’s Robin Hood Festival. The 2008 festival organizers are still searching for girls in grades one through four as well as young women in high school to comprise this year’s Maid Marian Court. Applications are due by April 1.

If you were to ask a third or fourth generation Sherwoodian what they remember best about previous Robin Hood festivals, you might hear:

'I loved the pig chasing contests;' 'We've always watched the big parade on Saturday morning;' 'I still have my Robin Hood costume from 40 years ago;' or 'I was one of the first Maid Marians back in 1950-something.'

After 55 years of summer festivals in our community, some traditions have fallen by the wayside (the pig chasing for one) and some are still going strong such as seeing the men and women of the festival board dressed up in costumes; the great beer garden; the miniature train display; the big Saturday morning parade; the Maid Marian Court; and the flower show. And now there are new things like the great kid's craft and play area in Veteran's Park and the amusement features like the climbing wall and bouncy house.

This year's Robin Hood Festival will take place July 18 and 19 throughout Old Town Sherwood.

This year's parade theme is 'Once Upon a Time.'

Another tradition that is constant is that the Robin Hood Festival has always been and still is an exclusively citizen/volunteer based event.

While other communities and smaller cities have the benefit of financial and manpower related support by their city government, Sherwood's Robin Hood Festival is a completely non-profit group that depends on the volunteerism of the citizens of Sherwood and the financial support of Sherwood's private businesses and individuals in order to hold it every year.

You may ask yourself, if it is not city workers who get all that stuff set up in old town every July then who? Well it is done by the wonderful volunteers who step forward to help the all-volunteer festival board.

These folks put up the Renaissance-themed family village, the beer garden and all the decorations you see in old town.

Interested in being a part of this great event? There are several ways to get involved.

If you are interested participating in the community parade, you can download the parade participant application from the Robin Hood Festival website at: www.robinhoodfestival.com.

If you'd like to sponsor your community festival, you can call Alice Thornton at 503-625-7554. Alice is the festival vice president and is in charge of the sponsorship program.

If you are interested in being a vendor and selling your wares to the public, please call John Tucker at 503-625-4233. John is our vendor relations coordinator and can help you get the forms needed to sign up.

If you would like to volunteer or get involved with the Robin Hood Festival, you may want to attend the monthly meetings on the third Thursday of the month, at 7 p.m., at the Masonic Lodge in Old Town Sherwood.

And, if your high school age or grade one through four daughter is interested in interviewing for the Maid Marian Court you can download the court application from the festival website address above as well. Please note that applications will be accepted until the end of the day on April 1 and will also be accepted if postmarked April 1. Please see the application and letter for rules and specifics on the Maid Marian Court.

Another aspect to our festival is the scholarship that we give every year to a very deserving senior at Sherwood High School. If you have a student at the high school and are interested in applying for the Robin Hood Festival Scholarship it is suggested that you go to the festival Web site to down load the application form and get it sent in. This year's scholarships applications are due in to the festival association by April 30.