FELTON — Brian Iles brought one of his hand-made birdhouses on Sunday to the Redwood Mountain Faire, not knowing whom he would see or who would get it.
“And I couldn’t believe it, I see an old KFAT DJ who’d I promised one to years earlier. She said ‘you never gave me that birdhouse,’ and I said ‘I’ve got it right here in my truck; I brought it just for you. It was amazing. What an amazing day!”
Iles, who seemed to have been enjoying some of the beer that was flowing at the faire, was representative of the general attitude of the crowd. With great live music on two stages both days, a score of interesting arts and crafts booths to look and shop at, and a wide variety of foods to taste, everyone seemed to be happy.
“It’s absolutely wonderful. The bands are great, everything is great” said Mike Rittue, who was volunteering in the Valley Women’s Club booth along with his wife Kathy. More than 350 people volunteered for the event, which drew about 5,000 in attendance, according to organizers.
The Valley Women’s Club hosts the event as a fundraiser for local charities, such as A Place of Refuge Counseling Center, Boy Scouts Troop #604, Boulder Creek Recreation and Park Foundation, Mountain Community Theatre and San Lorenzo Valley High School Athletics. Since it returned in 2010, the faire has raised $89,000. In 2013, it raised $40,000. It will be about a month before this year’s total is figured.
A silent auction featuring artwork, gift certificates from local restaurants and more drew a pack of people right before it closed down at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The event was well attended, though not crowded because of it had two stages of music going most of the time and a lot to look at all over the festival.
“All the bands, all the food, everything is great here,” said Betsy Jane Kniffin, lead vocalist of the Santa Cruz band The Inciters, who played on the second stage Sunday afternoon to a pleased crowd.
But of anybody there, it was Iles who might have enjoyed himself the most. Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment,” but Iles got a compliment that goes beyond.
“So I just got here and a young lady, about 50, she says ‘You’re Brian the Birdhouse Guy, I just wanted to tell you, I have 12 of your bird houses and they’re all in my house but one, and that one I put outside, I sprinkled my mother’s ashes around the most beautiful spot on my property and hung the birdhouse there. I couldn’t think of anything she’d like better.’ I’m an emotional person and I feel blessed by that,” Iles said. “It’s a blessing to be out here on a day like this.”