The original Big Tree Music and Art Festival began in Nick and Katy Hohol's backyard in Arch Rock just outside of Mifflintown, Juniata County, Pennsylvania in 2009. They built a small stage under a large sycamore tree in their front yard and planned the event with a handful of friends and family.
The idea came as a response to the lack of community musical events in the area and the growing number of talented local musicians. As they say, "if you build it, they will come." And they did! The first year was a "big" success and so was each year afterwards; so much so that Nick and Katy realized that their property was not equipped to handle the capacity of people that wanted to attend the festival. This was a good problem to have!
After a brief hiatus and a bit of planning, Big Tree found a new home only a few miles away at the Port Royal Lion's Club Park in 2014. Here, there was more space for parking, food and craft vendors, art displays and activities. In addition, Big Tree has formed an official committee, and with the help of Community Partnerships RC & D and many others, we have applied for and received our 501c3 nonprofit status! Now, we are thinking of new ways to reach out into our community. Click here to read more about how we are, "Branching Out"!
Our officers are:
President, Erica Shellenberger
Vice-President, Sean Hartzell
Treasurer, Angela Brubaker
Secretary, Susan Turns
If you are interested in helping Big Tree be a success, please contact us to see how you can help.
Sadly, Nick Hohol passed away in 2015. Though he is greatly missed for his warm smile and kind heart, we want to continue to honor him each year by carrying out Big Tree's mission: to bring love, community, art and music to this small, rural area, while we appreciate all of the beauty that surrounds us. Be the tree!
When I am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."