Fall Newsletter 2024 – Recap

Dear Friends,

Welcome to this year’s edition of our newsletter, the Postcard from Swannanoa.

Last year was our second in-person workshops since the Covid pandemic, and we are hopeful that our return to a real Swannanoa Gathering will now be permanent.

Once again, all participants were required to provide documentation that they had been fully vaccinated and boosted. Even so, with CDC tracking of the virus trending lowe, and weekly deaths nationwide below 100, Covid was still with us. As mentioned at Orientation, Covid was ‘forgotten but not gone.’ Out of 1,213 total attendees, with everyone vaccinated, we still had 8 positive cases. All of these folks left immediately after their positive test, out of concern for their fellow attendees who might have been exposed. For that consideration for everyone’s safety, they have the thanks of the entire Swannanoa Gathering community. We were able to restore dances and our Children’s Program during Traditional Song, Celtic and Old-Time Weeks – both developments additional signs of normalcy.

For the most part, weather was great all summer; not too hot and only occasional rain. Due to new fire code regulations, our ‘beer tent’ was relocated to the area adjacent to our food truck, with tables and chairs added to make a roomy, central concessions area in the evenings that proved very popular.

Next summer’s workshops will again be held in-person. After constant monitoring of the CDC’s Covid Tracker over the last three years, we are feeling a bit more confident that Covid has eased up to the point where we can take a few more steps toward returning to ‘normal’. We will no longer require proof of vaccination against Covid, but we strongly recommend that all attendees receive the latest updated Covid vaccine. Covid is still around and vaccination is still the best way to keep everyone safe. If these conditions should change, we will notify all those who have registered for the workshops. If Covid remains fairly quiet, we hope to be able to open some of our staff concerts to the public as well. Look for more information in our spring catalog.

Some may remember that, during the 2022 workshops, violent weather destroyed the big tent on the Sunderland lawn. This year we replaced it, with bigger stakes and stronger ropes to secure the tents, and the result? Weather destroyed the new tent again. So the message from the Universe was pretty clear: in the future, no more tents on the Sunderland lawn!

Check out the “Coming Next Summer” section for a sneak preview of what we have planned for 2023.