“A recovery led by the community has the potential to transform tragedy into opportunity.”
On November 5th, the Paradise Revival Festival returns to the Town for its fourth annual commemoration of the Camp Fire. Gathering residents together as a community, the festival celebrates Paradise’s spirit of resilience while also providing an opportunity to grieve and share stories of loss. The festival is designed to strengthen local relationships, and it invites residents to imagine the future as they intentionally rebuild.
“When we gather, we can share lessons learned from the fire, identify what is possible for Paradise’s future, and celebrate our rebuilding,” said Allen Myers, Executive Director of Regenerating Paradise, the event’s producer.
Free to the public, the event will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Terry Ashe Recreation Center. Festival partner World Central Kitchen will be providing a free meal for all attendees, with music by local musicians, theater performances by Theatre on the Ridge, and dancing by the indigenous Konkow Maidu, all produced by the new non-profit PATCH (Paradise Arts, Theatre, and Culture Hub). Attendees can browse booths from local vendors and event partners and view the art show featuring youth on the Ridge with the theme of “My Vision for the Future of Paradise.”
“In the immediate wake of the fire, there was a great need for the residents of the Ridge to gather, but with so much of the town destroyed there were few opportunities to do so,” observed Myers. “It was clear we needed more time together; a space to grieve, reminisce, check in on each other, and share resources and ideas.”
A group of Paradise locals rented the Terry Ashe Recreation Center in December 2018, just a month after the fire. More than 120 people attended, a testament to the love for the Town and the desire to foster its recovery together. Six months later, this core group of people formed Regenerating Paradise, an organization dedicated “to weave the social fabric that regenerates us.” One of the primary goals of Regenerating Paradise is to host gatherings for the Ridge community to further community building and revival.
“A strong social fabric is necessary to meet the scale of the disaster,” said Myers.
At this year’s festival, attendees will have the opportunity to attend two speaker forums: “Camp Fire: Lessons Learned” and “Living with Fire: What is Possible Now.” Regenerating Paradise will be collecting community input and providing updates on a Regenerative Housing Development project they are facilitating.
In true Paradise fashion, Paradise Revival Festival Partners come from all corners of the community. “It’s really a collaborative production by organizations of Paradise for the people of Paradise.”
Media sponsors include KIXE, PBS, and the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce, and other support and funding come from Regenerating Paradise, Gold Nugget Museum, Town of Paradise, Mechoopda Indian Tribe, Paradise Stronger, Norton Buffalo Hall Foundation, Paradise Recreation and Park District, the Paradise Art Center, North Valley Community Foundation, Butte Strong Fund, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and Emergent 3D.
“For many in the community, this date remains a painful reminder,” said Myers. “The Paradise Revival Festival aims to honor this anniversary by creating a space for the community to acknowledge our shared loss and honor our journey of recovery.”
“As we mark our 4th year, we want to make it visible that Paradise is recovering. Paradise is resilient.”
Learn more about the festival here.