About It All
About the Festival:
The Beltane-May Day Festival was born out of an idea that happened in mid-October 2020. With it definitely being too late in the year to plan a Samhain Festival, a decision was made to instead plan a festival for the spring. We immediately went to work planning a family-friendly Beltane celebration and thought that since we were going to offer overnight camping, we would continue the festivities into the next day and have a May Day celebration with a mass handfasting as well. By February 1st we had our property prepared, entertainment booked, volunteer jobs assigned and we were ready to accept vendor registrations.
That first year we only expected to have a few vendors, but resigned ourselves to consider the festival a success if members of the public showed up and had a good time. We ended up having 17 vendors, three entertainment acts each day, and about 100 people attending over the weekend. We were very happy with the outcome and sought feedback from both vendors and attendees for the next year. The next year we implemented several of the suggestions we received and ended up with 30 vendors, return and new entertainment, and added an escape room and axe-throwing. We are planning to make some changes to the festival grounds for the 2023 festival that we hope will allow for even more growth.
About The Pagan Path, Inc.:
The idea of The Pagan Path, Inc began many years ago when Chip, a practicing pagan witch since the age of 13, longed for a sacred space in nature where she could openly practice her faith without fear of judgment or persecution. Following her move to Reidsville and the property, she discussed the dream with her husband Tom, a Christian, and together they decided that it was time to make the dream a reality. However, instead of just making it a private space for her to practice, they agreed they should open it up to all pagans. So, in March of 2021, The Pagan Path, Inc., a nonprofit religious organization, began. Since opening, The Pagan Path, Inc has been the home of the Beltane-May Day Festival and will continue to do so for as long as the festival is alive.
About the Property:
We moved to the 16-acre property in Reidsville, North Carolina in August 2020. When we moved here only about 1.5 acres were clear. The overgrowth was so tall we had to hire someone to come bush-hog the remaining 3.5 acres that are not wooded. After the bush-hogging was done and we decided to open The Pagan Path, Inc, we went to work clearing some wooded areas out to make room for primitive camping spots and the festival grounds for our annual Beltane-May Day Festival.
About the Owners:
Tom and Chip have been together for 38 years and together they have had five children and six grandchildren who live elsewhere throughout the country. In addition to the five children Chip has had, she has three additional biological children that she carried as a surrogate for three families. Both Tom and Chip are very giving, but they are very humble too. They are willing to help just about anyone without any expectation of something in return.
Tom retired from the Army in 2009 after serving 14 years between the Army Reserves, National Guard, and active duty. After being out of the military for five years, Tom reenlisted and volunteered for service in Iraq at the height of the war. Naturally, the government accepted his offer and he was deployed to Iraq where he spent nine months attached to the 505th BN of the North Carolina National Guard. While there, he suffered six direct IED blasts, two within 24 hours of each other during his first mission out. As a result of the IED blasts, he was left with two broken vertebrae, a shattered inner ear canal, a TBI, and severe PTSD. For his combat injuries, Tom was awarded the Purple Heart. Following his retirement, Tom was deemed totally disabled and has spent his time recovering, traveling, and watching his grandchildren grow.
With four small children running around (their second child died at 4 months old), it was difficult for both Chip and Tom to work simultaneously so Chip spent time attending college working toward several degrees and certificates as a way to keep her mind sharp and focused. When she was able to finally work, she chose to start her own business instead. She spent nearly 30 years working as a freelance writer and photographer before capping her pen and gifting her camera to focus on running The Pagan Path, Inc., the Beltane-May Day Festival, and their new venture, Robinson’s Recreation Farm. She is a true Gemini, except for the parts about gossiping and seeking attention, and she does not like to be stagnant for even one second. She is a dreamer and will try her very best to make her dreams a reality.