When we started, we didn't have the internet. There were 3 new age/pagan shops on LI (that we knew of) and we placed small typewritten notices in them. 35 people showed up and danced the maypole that we'd made out of a fallen branch. The second year found us totally rained out, but the emerging coven still danced the maypole under the trees in a deluge.

By the third year, 75-80 people came. That was the turning point. People became interested in helping us, and wanted to make the event better. We moved the UU Fellowship in Huntington for the 4th (and 5th?) year where attendance grew and grew. We soon added on workshops and vendors and music. 

The years start to blur together in my memory, but as the festival grew, so did the community. The Huntington CUUPS group became active (now LIOC), Pagans in the Pub was started, NYC Pagan Pride contact Joe and me for help getting their first event off the ground, and they're in their 11th year now. And a bunch of groups came together made up of people who found each other at these public events. 

That last sentence is very important. People COME TOGETHER at these events, small and large. Solitaries who once felt alone now know they are NOT alone. People who are curious and unsure meet people with experience and knowledge who are willing to teach. So much grew out of the various events that the Beltane fest sparked. I think it's because once people saw that it COULD be done, they decided it SHOULD be done and DID it.

It's that spirit of community, of coming together, of DOING IT as a family of like-minded (although from different paths) souls making a difference for people they don't even know (yet). I will say that even after all this time, I'm still embarrassed to be recognized and have "fans". It was NEVER about me (my Goddess kicked me HARD in the ass and I did as she asked), or my coven. It was about the community at large.