Updated Mon, Jun 2, 2014 12:16 pm
Music was in the air, and so was a full rainbow of colors as the Color Dance Music Festival returned to Poston Lake in Stewart this past weekend for a triumphant second year.
The atmosphere featured live music starting Friday afternoon and into the early hours of Sunday morning. On Saturday, attendees enjoyed a clear sky, warm temperatures and each other's company.
At every turn, conversations were struck up with random strangers and of course color was in abundance.
At noon, a pack of festival-goers gathered with fine powders of varying colors and all at once threw them into the air, creating a dazzling display. The colors mixed together in the wind, symbolizing the very reason the festival was being held.
"Last year, we wanted to do a small party and get people to understand what we wanted to do here and it kind of blew up into an all-day festival," said Ryan Miller, co-founder of the Color Dance Music Festival. "Here we are eight months later and it's twice the size."
The idea for the festival began with Arkopaul Sarkar, of India, and the traditional Indian holiday Holi, known as the Festival of Colors. Sarkar talked with Miller about music festivals and combining that concept with Holi, thus marking the beginning of the Poston Lake event.
"We wanted to reintroduce the throwback, psychedelic feel to the festival with day-time stimulation but our core theme is unity and diversity," Miller said. "That's exemplified by the colors, the different colors in the air is the physical representation of that."
In its inaugural year, about 300 people attended. This year, an estimated 800 to 1,000 took in the sights and sounds.
Among those in attendance was 9-month-old Arlo Paul. Arlo was decked out in all the colors, and a popular person at the festival as many stopped to chat with him and snap photos. His mother, Aria Gough, of Dayton, didn't mind at all.
"That's what Arlo and I do. We travel to music festivals. He absolutely loves it," Gough, said. "I love the energy, I love the community and the friends you meet become family. I come so I can teach him that the real world is not all that there is."
Gough said she and the remainder of her family, Art, Haper and Jamie Paul will all be back next year.
"It's incredible," she said of the festival. "I would say it's one of the most family-oriented festivals I've been to so far.
Cliff and Alissa Sprague, along with their daughter Kathrine made the trip from North Canton to visit family in the area and take in the Color Dance Music Festival.
"This is awesome," said Cliff Sprague. "It's unique and the people are well-mannered. It's also well set up and just a nice event."