By Sarah CR Clark
Despite the sweltering 93-degree afternoon, Transition Town’s Emergence Festival on July 24 at Como Lake drew lots of visitors.
Spaced around the shores of Lake Como and surrounded by chilled water bottles, personal-sized fans and an occasional frozen treat, representatives of 24 local organizations informally discussed with attendees the possibilities of post-Covid life.
“We’ve heard from several of the groups that they made good connections with people walking around the lake and with other groups, which is exactly what we’d hoped for,” said event organizer Tracy Kugler. “I’m excited to see what collaborations might come from those connections in the coming months.”
The local organizations presented information under their event tents and ranged from climate action groups, faith communities and education groups to racial and environmental justice organizations.
“We’re imagining how we can build a community after this year of massive change,” Kugler said. “Life is heading back to normal, but ‘normal’ wasn’t always so great.”
Attendees at the festival learned (among many more things) about local nonviolence action groups; land recovery and reparative justice on Dakota land; the possibility of solar energy and St. Paul Schools; neighborhood faith groups; local food pledges; and St. Paul’s plan to begin collecting household organic waste.
As for how many neighbors braved the steamy hot weather to attend the Emergence Festival, Kugler estimated about 75 people staffed tables and a few hundred people visited at least one community group’s table.
Due to positive feedback from visitors, leaders of Transition Town said they may consider holding more events like the Emergence Festival in the future.
Sarah CR Clark lives in St. Anthony Park and is a regular freelance writer for the Bugle.