From left, The Candyman Strings & Things' Cindy Cook with local radio DJ's Mighty Chris D and Lisa C. I Photo credit: Minesh Bacrania.

Candyman Strings & Things Celebrates 50 Years

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, The Candyman Strings & Things in Santa Fe, New Mexico, held a Woodstock-themed festival to honor its founding year, 1969. "The Candyman Celebrates 1969" festival was held Sept. 22 at the Santa Fe Brewing Company's event space, The Bridge. Free and open to all ages, the festival drew an estimated 1,500 attendees and featured a variety of musical acts on the venue's outdoor stage.

At night, a tribute to the legendary Woodstock concert, also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, was led by local concert producer Mikey Baker. The tribute concert showcased songs from 1969's original Woodstock festival, performed by local-area musicians.

Off-stage activities included a drum circle with Santa Fe drum teacher Mark Clark, a kids play area and instrument petting zoo, DIY craft booths, artist booths providing henna tattoos and face painting, vendor booths, raffle giveaways, a silent auction and a 1960s costume contest with local celebrity judges.

The festival not only celebrated Candyman's 50th year but also its mission to raise much-needed funds for two beneficiaries, The Candyman Scholarship Fund, supporting and assisting lower-income music students with access to musical programs, and Soldiers Songs and Voices, a local nonprofit serving U.S. military veterans and their families through a creative arts for recovery program. The festival included an on-site donation station for both of these beneficiaries.

"We are so appreciative to all who attended and the amazing group of musicians who performed, helping us celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Candyman Strings & Things as well as the Woodstock festival," said Rand Cook, store co-owner. "We're especially grateful to our general manager, Francesca Tharpe, and our amazing staff for all of the extra effort poured into making this event successful beyond imagination."

A 'Social' Impact
Thanks to the event's fun nature and visually appealing theme, The Candyman Strings & Things saw an increase in social media reach by close to 300%. Social media likes and follows increased by approximately 120%, and Facebook post engagements were up over 340%, with patrons describing it as "the party of the year."