WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS – People celebrated the last day of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival on Sunday by spending the final hours dancing, singing, and learning new skills.
Dust filled the air as people made their way down to the main stage to show off their dancing. Founder Sarah Calhoun says each year the festival tops the one from the year before.
“It feels so good to be here. One thing we are really proud of is the good will feel and the nature of the culture of the crowd here. We certainly try to set the tone but then it seems to be contagious throughout the vendors and the volunteers and the musicians and all of the festival goers and everyone is just being the best versions of themselves somehow and really being neighborly and pitching in and joining in to celebrate,” said Calhoun.
As music continuously plays in the background, hula hoops travel around and around hips. At the other edge of the cow pasture, people get to watch as a Montana company tosses in apples to grind them down. 16-year-old Turk Salsbery from Malta, Montana even got to turn the wheel as he pressed the apples into a liquid.
“I am proud to say there will be a bit of apple juice in a barrel of hard cider later on that I got to do myself," he said.
As the minutes ticked by, the reality of closing down crept in.
“It’s literally a full year of work and preparation getting to this moment. It certainly is bittersweet, it will be nice to get a nap in here and there but overall it’s just a lovely experience and we are just really appreciative of all of the support,” said Calhoun.
Whether people sang along, danced their hearts out, or learned new skills the thing Calhoun hopes people walk away with most is a smile and the realization that no matter where we come from, we are all neighbors.
Calhoun said she plans on taking off a couple days to relax before she starts thinking about next year’s festival and how she will be able to top this one.