Festival Feedback

There was some controversy generated by this year’s Festival of Colors, mostly by those who didn’t go and by some less than objective “reporting” by the Daily Herald. Here are some quotes (taken from the “Comments” sections of the Herald, and Channel Five TV’s web pages) from attendees…

Colors  HandsLast Wednesday at the County Building was a summit meeting for next year’s Holi. All intercounty agencies: Health Department, Police, Fire Marshalls, Highway Patrol, Utah County Sheriffs, cities of Spanish Fork & Salem, Utah Dept of Transportation, Vai and Caru. Good upbeat mood to brainstorm and make next year’s Festival even better.

There was some controversy generated by this year’s Festival of Colors, mostly by those who didn’t go and by some less than objective “reporting” by the Daily Herald. Here are some supportive quotes (taken from the “Comments” sections of the Herald, and Channel Five TV’s web pages) from attendees.

Glen Brown, Huffington Post
The event is drug and alcohol free. There are lots of families with young kids, grandmas and grandpas who attend. It’s a huge festival – getting bigger every year. Last year 50,000 people attended; I saw news reports that said 80,000 attended this year.

It is more fun than it looked like. Live music, great food for sale, lots of people having a great time.

Festival goers are not all there at once.  While the Temple property was crowded, it was never overwhelmed.  The surrounding roads had a constant stream of thousands of cars coming and going.  At any given time after about 10:30 there was a line of people waiting to enter while an equally large line of people were leaving.  Unlike a sporting event where most folks arrive at start time and most folks leave at the end, the Festival is a constant churn.  As a result, there’s day long traffic…

Interestingly since the festival takes place at the Krishna temple, at least some Utahns distrust it immediately and are prepared to see it in the worst possible light; these folks see the crowds, the inevitable traffic jam, a few incidents of misbehavior on the part of participants and conclude the festival itself is the problem and look for excuses and ways to shut it down.

It’s also hard to miss the Puritanical response to the Festival of Colors.  It’s too much fun.  Something has to be done about it. ….

Lady Jade
I find that BYU football games really mess up my getting around anywhere, the freeway, Orem and Provo area’s. For those advocating reducing or eliminating this, lets start with the football games first, since they are many times throughout a year, not just two days back to back.

David Fillmore said on: March 26, 2012, 2:27 pm
What a fabulous and fun event! Go to the Krishna Spanish Fork website to see the video of the Festival. More power to the Lotus Temple; do not be distracted by the paranoid Utah Valley resident comments who feel threatened by your celebration. Let’s get 100,000 next year!!

Trean Bean
I had a great time!! My husband and two girls went with me and it was nice to teach them that all religions can get along and have fun. Most everyone was respectful toward the little children, and included us all in the celebration. It also brought support to the community businesses. The traffic was crazy, but it was only two days.

sneffadi said on: March 26, 2012, 10:01 am
It saddens me a lot to see the intolerance people display for other belief systems. All the traffic slowing down “unsuspecting people” could easily be compared to the heavy traffic and gathering of people in Salt Lake City for General Conference. The Krishna temple works with the health department and the city to make everything as smooth as possible. The Holi festival is a great opportunity to experience a different culture and a time to experience a mutual feeling of love for those around you. I enjoy watching people open up to random strangers and see barriers come down – that’s something people from every belief system should be able to experience.

lorainedg said on: March 25, 2012, 6:07 pm
There is a lot of negativity in the comments and article on this story without emphasizing one key point- All 80,000 people were not there at once! It was a constant rotation of people over two days. Yes, the parking was horrendous, made worse by the fact that the police had posted “no parking” signs all over the place even though I could see no real reason why those areas should have been denied for parking (public streets, plenty of room, etc.). So walking a half mile two and from my car with a bunion was NOT fun. But, there were TWO entrances this time- another fact not taken into account here- so getting in and out was really not difficult. Bags were checked, and I was just fine with that, although the overall atmosphere was friendly and happy. I will say that parents need to be more discriminating with their kids- you DON’T take them into a rowdy, packed area where people are crowd surfing!! There were plenty of places to observe, to sit down, to relax. And although most of the people were respectful, there were, as usual, a few who could just learn to be nice for the sake of being nice. I had a great time, and so did many thousands of other people.

paulw said on: March 27, 2012, 6:55 pm
Sometimes it’s downright embarrassing to live in Utah County. On Sunday, the Daily Herald published a shoddy piece of “journalism” about the Festival of Colors that almost entirely panned it as an awful thing, cherry picking quotes from a few disgruntled attendees to make it look like a miserable event. No doubt that explained the festival’s great popularity among the tens of thousands who attended. The “correspondent” for that story was apparently overwhelmed by the fact that something a little less dull that a ward potluck took place in Happy Valley. And, horror of horrors, it was a venue not well suited to baby strollers–what could be worse! Does that kind of small mindedness really represent the best of what we are?

Now this nuttiness about health concerns. People with asthma had a hard time at an event where there was dust in the air? Really? How about going somewhere where there isn’t dust in the air, if it will bother your asthma? That ought to be a no brainer. And people allergic to corn starch might have been bothered by the colored corn starch in the air? If you’re allergic to corn starch, how about going somewhere where there isn’t a copious amount of corn starch in the air? Use your brain instead of being foolish, blaming other people for your own foolishness, and expecting everyone else to do no more with their lives than you do. Government ought to stop trying to save us from ourselves. Utah County loves to try to block long boarders, cavers, and anyone else doing anything the tired old men in charge don’t grasp. This week they’ve shown they’re always good for another shudder.

I thank the good people at the temple for a fun celebration of spring, and look forward to doing it again.

I helped at the EMT (firstaid) tent all day Saturday and know of only 2 people transported by ambulance?? I am also amazed at person who said in the Herlad there were 100’s of drug busts. Thats inaccurate info. This festival is rather well put together and to have someone who “worked security” to call it a disaster is way out of line. I attend the temple services often, I know how much care, thought and preparation the temple puts into the festival. It’s the attendees that fail to plan, fai tol read the MANY articles of info and 100’s published by several media sources, fail to hear the safety announcements that are loudly played for them… It sad to see the festival grinched by negetive comments, comments made by people who lack info and of course have not attended the festival.

Why such negative comments? I fully enjoyed going to the festival both days. 🙂 I feel completely uplifted after attending. I was able to hug strangers and make new friends, and just spend hours in joy.

Has anyone noticed that the negative comments are from people that didn’t actually attend? I went with my 14, 11, and 7 year old daughters and we all had a blast. It was one of the funnest events I have ever been to. We went really close down into the mosh pit, and had a great time throwing colored powder on perfect strangers….which they loved as well. Our family came out of there covered, and loved it. If you have never gone, I recommend giving it a try and you will like it. If you hate large crowds, stay home. Traffic and parking was challenging, but hey, expect delays. We loved the whole experience, in fact will take several family members next year.

Loved everything about this. The vibe is great, a very upbeat peaceful feeling. If you don’t love it don’t go. To each his own. It s a 2 day event once a year. I think it is amazing and will be back every year.

Jeff N.
posted 14 days ago
Well complainers.. There’s enough smog in Slc and ut county to make a little chalk seem like nothing.. and I seem to remember a little pagent they put on int the middle of nowhere Manti. That causes a bit of a traffic issue on the one hwy that goes through there.. so bite your lips and deal with a different religions weekend of fun.. oh and conference is soon to mess up the fwy again.

Very well put. It is so funny to listen to people of Utah complain about things like this, but won’t give a second thought to something they do that inconvieniences others. Your LDS Conference reference is the perfect analogy.

Silver Firs
The “chalk” is corn starch with approved colors/dyes. I personally wore sunglasses and a scarf over my nose and mouth, but plenty of people didnt and were fine.
Outside “colors” were not allowed- these colors are all FDA approved and safe. I have a sensitive system and I was not bothered. The festival was crowded but safe, people were looking out for each other.
No “god” was being worshiped. FAITH was being worshiped. Faith in humanity, faith in Jesus, faith in brotherhood, faith in spring- it was personal to yourself, nobody was forcing anyone to practice, and nobody was preaching. The only lesson I heard over and over was be a good person, be a kind person, have an open heart.
We danced, sang, jumped, hugged, and made peace with thousands of people today. That is a beautiful thing.
Anyone who had a touch of peace in their being could take a deep breath and get over the lines, crowds, and traffic. What will it matter tomorrow?

soul graffiti
I went for the first time this year and absolutely loved it! A place where all colors, religions, sexual orientations, sizes, ages etc could get together and for once, nobody cared. Celebrating live and love, beauty and peace. I will be doing it again in salt lake the 14th. It was very very amazing and beautiful, all the haters out there just want one more thing to whine about since i guess we dont have REAL problems to worry about. jeez. a peaceful celebration that of course is another good thing that will be picked apart and ridiculed by the close minded, lack of excitement, straight laced, unhappy people. as for traffic, whoopty doo! its 2 days out of a year you had to actually pay attn to the road, people and surroundings, i think everyone will live! plan ahead next time so you dont have to go anywhere while its going on… not like you didnt have advance notice??? PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL>

I did not attend this year’s Festival of Color but my son and a group of his friends did. He said it was one of the most amazing times he has ever had. So many people, good music, good food, laughter and friendship. Yes there will always be people who complain about anything and everything and that is all right, we all have opinions and I respect everyone to voice theirs. But please dont take away from this. It is a celebration to bring people from all walks of life and religions together for a few hours to celebrate, Color, Spring, Love and Friendship. Lets remember this, for one weekend a year there is laughter, friends coming together, and a really good time for all. It is to bad that there are not more celebrations around this world to bring people together that helps them forget the problems of everyday life even if it is for a few hours. I am sorry I was not able to be there but next year I will be there having the time of my life. Thanks for sharing the story and the pictures.

I’m a Mormon and a Spanish Fork resident. I took a ride down the highway past the temple and back. On a motorcycle, none the less. I did not go in, but all I saw were brightly colored happy people. Yes, they were a bit onto the highway while walking to and from their cars, but all was in control. The middle highway lane compensated for that where needed. I remember when the temple was built and have been right proud to have in close by ever since.

I’ll bet the land owners nearby made a killing in parking fees! Not to mention the food establishments from Payson to Springville!

Maybe next year I will actually participate.

Greg P.
These negative comments are annoying. I’ve never been to this festival. But, my children have many times and they all say it was good natured fun. For as many people are attending, it seems to be well organized and people just enjoy each other regardless of who they are. Fortunately the negative comments on here are not indicative of how this event really is.

I am lds and I have asthma, but I go with my family to the festival very year. We have a great time, I wear a dust mask during the big throwings. There is crazy traffic, and big crowds, but worth it to be with your family to have a good time and throw some colored cornstarch. It is what you make it.

I had a wonderful time, spent the day there with my kids and had a blast, It’s a shame all the rumors going out about the drugs, and fights and rioting. As for breathing it in, thats why it’s recommended you wear a bandana and glasses to cover your eyes and nose. It was great dancing hugging singing and throwing the colors, If you don’t like it don’t go, and you really shouldn’t judge those who do go

Posted in Temple Diary.