Tom Werder spent most of the weekend toggling through five weather apps on his smartphone. A light drizzle still was falling on Sunday at 11:30 am — the cutoff time for moving the Giralda Music and Arts Festival indoors.
But the executive director of Morris Arts listened to his apps, and they paid off with a comfortable and fairly dry afternoon and evening at Giralda Farms in Madison.
“It was a good call, I think,” Werder said, surveying the scene.
Ignoring dark clouds, hundreds of friends and families picnicked on the rolling lawn as the New Jersey Symphony got through its program of classical- and Broadway favorites with only a brief pause, to retreat from a few sprinkles.
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The festival, which marked its 32nd year, is a fund-raiser for Morris Arts. Events included a communal children’s poem, art sales, a picnic contest and raffle, hula hooping and additional music by the Lakeland Youth Symphony.
Kadie Dempsey, who coordinated the festival for Morris Arts, said the nonprofit had set up its indoor venue, at the College of Saint Elizabeth, just in case. She was glad everything stayed outdoors.
“People prepared food for days in advance. If it’s not outside, that component is missing. You don’t have that celebratory feeling,” Dempsey said.
“When you see everyone out here enjoying themselves, that’s what it’s all about. It’s easy to get caught up in contracts and logistics and details. But in the end, it’s about people enjoying their friends and listening to fantastic music.”
“We accomplished what we wanted to do, bringing the community together around great art events,” Werder said, after the symphony’s last note had sounded.