Harmony Tribe, the group that produces Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF), a Pagan camping festival held in SE Minnesota, celebrated their 15th year last week. While the festival experienced ups and downs over the years, most recently a split in Harmony Tribe in 2010 resulting in the board resigning en masse, it appears to be back on the upswing with higher attendance and new and returning merchants.
In 2011 the festival faced several challenges. A wounded community tired of drama, a new zoning restriction on the park which limited night time drumming, and lack of board continuity and experience. These challenges showed in the attendance numbers. Approximately 150 people attended SHF in 2011.
To meet these challenges the board brought in Crystal Blanton, author, mental health counselor, and High Priestess in California to hold a Restorative Justice circle and begin the healing at the 2011 SHF. The success of that move, which rippled out through the community after last year’s festival, can be seen in this year’s festival numbers. Although final numbers won’t be out until Sunday, Harmony Tribe Council Officer Judy Olson says the numbers topped 200. Ms. Blanton returned to SHF this year to continue the community healing that was started in 2011.