By Dave Warner

This year, the Dolgveille Violet Festival will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, and they plan on a few surprises for attendees. The festival is not just a one-time event during the summer but a year-round effort by the residents and volunteers in Dolgeville on the second Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of June each year.

In 1999, a group of volunteers wanted to honor Lyndon Lyon, who created the first double pink African violet at his greenhouses in Dolgeville.

Crystal Napier is President of the Dolgeville Violet Festival, and she stated, “It was about naming the festival after the violets that he created.  We’ve just been adding to it every year since.”

“We’re always looking for new things, especially anything that would draw the kids in. Things we can fundraise for that would be for kids in the Village and the area that come to the festival.”

Planning for the event begins as soon as the last one finishes. “We like to think that we take the summer off, but we fundraise year-round. For some things, we start heavily in September and come January, we’re full force until June,” she said.

Getting volunteers is always one of the biggest challenges for any festival, and the one in Dolgeville is no exception. “We’re a small town, and we have to draw a lot of help for that weekend. We have our core group of volunteers, but we’re trying to add to that group.”

She said adding new events is tough without that extra help.

This year, the more than 10,000 people who will attend the event can expect to find pictures stretching way back to the beginning of the Festival. “We’re doing a ‘Through the Years’ display of photographs and memorabilia. We’re collecting pictures from the beginning, but we’re still figuring out where that display will be. There’s a lot going on right now.”

The parade is the highlight of the event on Saturday, and Napier said that she loves seeing it all come together. “We start in September, sending out our letters to school bands and other organizations. We’re always looking for new ones to participate.”

She has been doing the parade for ten years now, and just like the first year, it can be stressful, but when she’s standing there watching the end result, she said, “It’s worth it. This is cool.”

Regarding the parade, they’ve fluctuated between 80 and 120 organizations that have participated. “I’m always looking for something different for the parade. I try to see what other parades or organizations are doing. Anything that we could bring into ours that would make it more interesting.”

If you would like to become a vendor during the three-day event, participate in the parade, or have any other questions, please contact Crystal Napier at 315-527-9585 or email dolgevilleparades@yahoo.com.