In fact, according to its organizers, the 20th annual Harvest Festival saw its largest turnout in history on Thursday. Friday’s annual Snowbird Farewell was also an extremely popular event this year.
“We were a bit worried, what with the recent violence, that fewer Animals would show up,” said Cécile Bardot, who assumed the position of president of the organizing committee in March.
“But, as it turns out, we had nothing to worry about. It was a joyous, joyous occasion, full of food and fun and music and laughter…[it was] a real celebration of the work that we accomplished this year.”
And, although festival-goers did notice the police, many seemed not to mind.
“It’s unusual to see police here,” acknowledged Dewi Beruang, who has attended the last seven Harvest Festivals. “I just assumed they came to celebrate, just like we did, and they seemed to be having a good time,” she said.
Hundreds jailed after Noon Nuttiness protest turns violent
Has Anixi Agrarian Jubilee become too politicized?
Archons, PFO blasted over Human Direct Investment in Park
Food production scandal rocks Park
Indeed, they did have a good time, according to Gareth Shepherd, President of the Federation of Canine Security Workers (FCSW), who oversaw security at both festivals. But, that wasn’t their prime objective.
“We were here to make sure that peace prevailed,” he said.
Aintza Kanariar, Director of Public Relations for The Park’s Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations confirmed that the department felt the need for an obvious police presence at the two celebrations.
“We were sensing a degree of unrest in the populace, and with the two festivals coming so soon after the Noon Nuttiness fiasco, we didn’t think we could take any chances,” she said.