Doing art festivals, you always get to see a community at its best. You find a gathering of people enjoying many of the best things life has to offer: loved ones, friendships, humor and laughter. Its a joy to be around so much positive energy.
The Highland Park festival this year was unlike anything I've seen. Only a month ago, during the packed July 4th parade in downtown Highland Park, a gunman killed 7 people in this small city. Downtown is just a few blocks. Everyone in this town was devastated and you couldn't help but be moved by the many tributes throughout the city. You could feel it in the air and I certainly felt it in my heart. I've been here so many times, doing shows or just visiting, and have spoken to countless of the town's residents over the past 15 years. But the few conversations I had last week, with locals on the subject showed me how resilient this town is. People wanted to honor the victims by embracing life. It will take time for Highland Park to get fully back on its feet, but there is no doubt it will, and what I had the honor to see was the beginning of that process.