History of the Festival
that Community Built

Thursday night bonfire 2009, photo by Sharon Cyboron

How Connecticut’s 
First Pagan Festival was Born!*


YEAR 1: Beltaine 1999
The Beltaine Festival began an idea put forth by one of our members, Ron Ortoli/WolfWytch. Ron had run our annual October Hayride at Schreiber’s Farm, and suggested that we hold a May Day campout. Previous to this, a May Day faire was suggested in the church’s first year, but we hadn’t found an appropriate site. Our first Beltaine campout was a great deal of fun, and we had a wonderful turn out despite cold temperatures. It was a huge success thanks to staff and the participants. It was then we realized, “Hey, maybe we can run a Pagan Festival for real!”  

YEAR 2: Beltaine 2000  
had an even greater turn out, drawing over 150 people from the Tri-State area. It was apparent to us that there was a chasm that needed to be filled in the Pagan community as a festival, a place where all groups could gather and celebrate one of the most sacred sabbats of the year. People made it very clear that our festival was an event not to be missed! 

Beltaine 2001: A PAGAN ODYSSEY  
was now officially given its name, Beltaine 2001: A Pagan Odyssey, and it has since stuck. Ron moved to Vermont and Rev. Alicia Folberth began running the festival this year, and has done so every year since. Ron and Niasha were legally handfasted in filling the roles of our god and goddess for the main ritual. It was a very special festival, and the drum circles were amazing!

YEAR 4: Beltaine 2002 grew even larger – and we offered many more classes and presenters than we ever had before. Our circles noticeably held more power, including our opening ritual in the middle of a thunderstorm. No fair weather Pagans we!

YEAR 5: Beltaine 2003: UNITY
We adopted the theme of Unity and brought many different local groups together. This was our fifth year of running the Festival, and this year was a true milestone for us. We put an enormous amount of energy into it to make it manifest, and it showed! We had live bands for the first time – we were planning on only having one, and had the great fortune of booking both Shaman and Sol Dog! We were also able to offer as many as three classes at once, and brought in some excellent teachers for our festival – leaders, authors, well-known teachers and Elders. When it was done, many made the time to thank staff members – it was described as not being an event, but an EXPERIENCE! After struggling to learn how to run a festival for several years, it was clear we were well on our way towards our goal of Beltaine earning its place alongside larger, more well known festivals.

YEAR 6: Beltaine 2004: COMMUNITY
Our theme for this year was Community, and we will held a discussion on Sunday about creating community and the changes we need to make for our future. It overflowed into everything we did, and brought the community together as a community in truth that weekend. We had over 40 teachers and guest speakers, 60 classes, lectures & workshops, 4 bands, and many other events happening throughout the weekend. 
Beltaine rocked with concerts by Stone the Hostess, Shaman, Dreamspirit, and Sol Dog.

Was our best festival thus far despite the weather! Elders such as Dorothy Morrison, Patricia Telesco, Deborah Lipp, Lady Rhea, and Grey Cat were our special guest speakers this year. Stone the Hostess, Shaman, Dreamspirit and Sol Dog returned and gave excellent concerts! The Nipmuck Turtle Drum played for us for the first time, and brought the rain to a stop for several hours! Australian recording artist Wendy Rule graced us with a  magickal concert on Saturday night that will be spoken about for many years to come! The rituals were powerful, and it's doubtful anyone will forget the magick we created together this year. The final total was well over 400, making it our largest festival ever! 

YEAR 8: Beltaine 2006: TRADITIONS
Another successful year! Our headliners included our elders Tamarra and Richard James of the Wiccan Church of Canada, Ellen Dugan, Christopher Penczak,
Patricia Telesco, Jane Sibley and Baba David Coleman. We had a total of 8 concerts by musical artists Wendy Rule, Point of Ares, Laura Powers, Katrin, Elaine Silver, Stone the Hostess and Erika Leiberman of the Reelies. We also opened with a Laser light show on Friday night which ran during the concerts. With over 50 presenters and over 80 workshops we surpassed all our previous festivals in our offerings. 

Beltaine 2007: EARTH - SACRED LAND
This year was truly a gathering of traditions and Elders. Lady Maxine Sanders graced our festival as our Keynote Speaker, and our headliners included our elders Tamarra and Richard James of the Wiccan Church of Canada, Dame Laurie Cabot, Gypsy and Richard Ravish of the Temple of Nine Wells, Jimahl diFiosa, Morven Westfield, Jane Sibley, Lady Rhea, and Baba David Coleman. The Laser Show returned, and performances included belly dancing by Belly Dance Oasis, and Fire Dancing by Raven Lockwood. We invited many different organizations, temples and covens, and combined, we offered 10 rituals throughout the weekend. A total of 10 concerts were given by Caera, Stone the Hostess, Point of Ares, Adala, Katrin, Amy "Gypsy" Ravish, the Dragon Ritual Drummers from Canada (their first performance in the US!), Diabolis In Musica, and Laura Powers. 

YEAR 10:
Beltaine 2008: the little Beltaine
This year, due to personal life issues, was just a one day festival. Katrin gave us an AWSOME concert, and we had several notable Elders who gave some fantastic classes. Many thanks to all who participated! It was an intimate, but a special event.

YEAR 11: Beltaine 2009! THE AGE OF AQUARIUS
The alignment occurred on February 14th, 2009, Valentine's Day and the astrological chart formed a hexagram over Israel. We might be in a recession, but something special is in the air this year. Somehow we grew bigger! We will offer over 70 presenters in all, 90 classes, workshops, rituals and lectures, 9 concerts plus a guest appearance by Gypsy Ravish! It was the MOST amazing work we have ever done in honor of our Gods and for the greater community! We had rave reviews!

YEAR 12: Beltaine 2010
More coming soon - updating!

Rev. Alicia had to cancel the festival due to personal life issues. 
It happens. There were no other reasons, nor was the temple gone. 

YEAR 13: Beltaine 2012: Restarting

We were small, but we are back!

YEAR 14: Beltaine 2013: Rebuilding
A lovely day at the farm. 
Not big yet, Rev. Alicia has had some serious health issues to overcome.

Our 15th ANNIVERSARY in 2014 

Welcome to the Nexus!
Something very special has happened to our festival.

"Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow, don't stop, it'll soon be here"

The future awaits...
and it will be absolutely amazing! 

(And to the silly people who think they can steal OUR festival, please pick another Sabbat)

Each year our festival grows bigger and gets better, so be sure to look for even more offerings and a variety of events in the future. The little festival that community built has grown. We are planning to become the flagship Pagan festival of the Northeast. Help us build a temple! Attend, contribute and spread the word!

Our Land Fund
This is the reason why we hold the festival every year, it is our hope that we can build this festival into such a success that it will enable us to purchase land and a building. We use parks and libraries for many of our events, and rent Schreiber’s Farm for our larger events, but we need a place to call our own. Needless to say, the amount we spend in rent makes up a considerable portion of our budget. It’s only through donations and special events such as our Beltaine Festival and the October Hayride that we are able to put money aside for the Land Fund itself.

With many thanks to our host
We have also had a great deal of support from our host Paul Schreiber, who owns the farm. He and the surrounding homeowners have been very gracious in accepting our presence every year. Please be sure to say thank you to Paul when you see him. We are able to continue to rent the land because we treat it as sacred; we leave it in better condition than when we found it. Please do your part in taking all your trash with you when you leave and in keeping all areas clean during the festival.

*Yep, we are the first Pagan festival in CT. The other event was an indoor convention in a hotel. Please consult your dictionary for further information.


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Last Revised: 24 Apr 2013 11:43:41 -0400 .