After a two-year virtual-only hiatus, ComFest is in many ways rising from the pandemic’s ashes and returning to its full glory at Goodale Park.

What should never be undervalued is the energy and creative power of the volunteers who have run ComFest, which many know is coolest party in town, if not the only party in town that truly matters, for the previous half century.

But what also shouldn’t be forgotten is how they kept ComFest going in the face of a pandemic. There were two virtual ComFests, and they required a great deal of technical expertise and logistical planning that was entirely new to the volunteers, says ComFest volunteer Marty Stutz.

“Really, it was a lot of the same folks who put together the regular ComFest, and they just decided, ‘Hey, this is really important, and what can possible be done to keep ComFest going even though there’s not going to be a live festival in the park?’,” said Stutz. “There was a whole lot of people who came together with not a lot of time to put the virtual together.”

But finally in early 2022, the volunteers realized there was an opportunity that everyone could get together in the park, said Stutz, and by the way, it occurred to ComFest’s General Planning Committee it’s been 50 years.

Stutz suggested naming volunteers who work throughout the year to make ComFest happen would leave so many people out, but there is a core group of 20 to 30 people who deserve a long, long applause.

“It’s people like Darryl Mendelson, in charge of entertainment. It’s Candi Watkins, who puts together the street fair. It’s Bill Kurtzenberger, who’s been really involved putting in pulling musicians together. It’s Mimi Morris who puts the program together. I hate to say names because I am going to leave people out,” says Stutz.

Every year it’s a challenge, a monumental task many in the community probably take for granted.

“When you’re putting together a giant festival on five stages different stages, and lots and lots of bands, and workshops, and a street fair, it’s always a challenge. It’s been going on for 50 years,” said Stutz. “Everybody pulls together and says, ‘Now it’s time to go back live, let’s celebrate ComFest, let’s celebrate community, let’s celebrate our values, and it comes together.”

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Happy Comfest!