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Windiefest kicks off in downtown

Don’t wonder about its name anymore – the “W” stands for women, “indie” for independent, and “fest” for the festival.
That was the inspiration for the inaugural Windiefest 2010 in downtown Jonesborough, according to organizer Susan Lachmann, who tailored the event to celebrate Women’s History Month, as well as local women who are artists, producers, designers and “imagineers.”
Lachmann also hosts Women on Air, a weekly program on WETS-FM, a program features music by women for women.
Although the crowd wasn’t what she was hoping for, Lachmann said participants are already asking about next year’s festival.
“It’s the inaugural year, and you take a certain amount of risk when you do something for the first time,” she said. “I felt that it was time.”
Windiefest, which went on from Friday to Sunday, began with speakers Julie Hellwich and Park Overall.
On Saturday, the participants had several workshops to choose from. They could join a drum circle, led by the BoomChix from Asheville, make their own jewelry, walk in a “big-girl dress-up adventure” or listen to “HERstory Parlour Talks,” held in the back room of the Cranberry Thistle.
Lachmann said of her many roles, she enjoys producing events that bring people together to learn new things.
“I love ideas, bringing them to people and that exchange,” she said. “I love invention and the art of creating.”
But it was also a day to just connect with other women. “It’s also because of my Italian genetic heritage,” she said. “I just want to get people together to laugh and eat good food.”
Lachmann said the festival also offered women networking opportunities, to help provide them with all the activities and support she wished she had when she was younger and trying to make it as an “imagineer.”
The festival is a chance to “hang out with people who get it,” she said.