Two students enrolled in the Psychology and Community Studies program at the University of Maine at Machias conducted research to determine the successions, concerns, and overall impact of local festivals in the Washington County area. More specifically, the research performed focused in closely on the Bold Coast Sea and Sky Festival which has been held three consecutive years in Machias beginning in 2016. Mr. Bob McCollum, the community partner in this research study, is an active member of the planning committee for this festival. Mccollum emphasized the problematic shortcomings with the committee in not being able to attract young adults. Therefore, this research favors creating more of an attraction for adults within the 18-30 year age group. A survey was created in order to obtain some detail oriented information from previous, current, and potentially future participants of the Bold Coast Sea and Sky festival. The survey was split into sections that included both demographics and event based questions. The survey seeked to only consider the responses of Washington County residents and allowed for participants to express their opinions about the Bold Coast Sea and Sky Festival specifically. The research conducted in this study also involved an analysis of sales numbers of a local retail business. This business, which wished to remain unnamed, showed a drastic impact in its sales in comparison to the sales of other various weekends. This suggests that the growth in tourism within the time frame of the festival remains a factor for potential growth in festival participation. Conclusively from this study, we can assume that there are many improvements that can be made to this festival whilst there are certain aspects that should remain the same. Some improvements to be recommended to the planning committee for the Bold Coast Sea and Sky Festival to incorporate into their agenda are better advertisement, new bands, more activities for younger children as well as more activities for adults, better seating arrangements, and more vendors. The results also did not favor the helicopter rides which the committee had believed were a huge success. Over 30% of survey participants simply had no interest in the event while another over 40% just felt as though it was too expensive. Though the research did suggest improvisations, the successions and enjoyable events expressed were activities like the kite flying, foosball, and the craft fair portion of the festival. The Bold Coast Sea and Sky Festival is a relatively new experience with much room for development, but it’s small victories will help to keep this festival unique when compared to the rest of the festivals held in the Washington County area.
Hernandez, Sharon and Bourque, Crysta, "Survey of Washington County Residents for Purposes of Increasing Local Festival Attendance" (2018). Psychology and Community Studies Student Scholarship. 2.