Festival 101
Sasha Festival “101”: a guide for first-time festival attendees
Welcome to your first Sasha Festival; you are going to have a ball! Each festival is unique, with some new events and some more traditional activities that take place.  Hopefully, this short guide will help you get the most out of the experience and “define” some of the things that will take place.
First off, bring some of your Sasha “kids” to dress up and have fun with. Everyone carries a doll around with them, and where else can you do that without getting stares? Participating in everything is the best way to experience the whole festival!
Just what are all the things that happen at the festival?
1.  Children’s Fund Auction (CFA):  One of the primary goals of the festival is to raise money for children’s charities.  The CFA is one of the highlights of the festival.  Items are donated and auctioned off in a fun and lively auction style.  Examples of donated items are: OOAK clothing outfits, dolls, unique accessories, unique Sasha memorabilia, or a combination of doll and outfit.  Special Sasha items such as paintings or posters show up sometimes too. Those who choose to donate items work hard to ensure their donation is unique and represents their very best effort, since the objective is raise lots of money for charity!  The prices that items sell for can be shocking to first-timers!  But knowing that 100% of the proceeds go directly to children’s charities, makes bidders tend to be generous.  If you have a special outfit or a doll you want to donate, contact the chairwoman of the CFA. That information is found in your registration materials.  **It is important to wait until the auction is completely finished before you try to pay for and pick up your winnings.  The volunteers who help with auction are very busy while it is going on and do not have your items ready for payment and pick up until the auction has ended completely and final tallies are done. There will be an auction bidding paddle in your goodie bag you receive at check in.
 2.  “Dress-a-Sasha” is a contest that gives you the opportunity to either make or assemble an outfit for your doll or dolls that illustrate your interpretation of the stated theme. Generally you are allocated a specific amount of space, number of dolls, etc. for your entry, so please take note and abide by the guidelines found in the registration materials. Everyone enjoys looking at and photographing the entries and then you vote on your favorites in each category. You will get some slips of colored paper in an envelope in your goodie bag; these are your ballots. Winners are usually announced the last morning.  Prepare to be amazed and delighted at the creativity of your fellow festival participants! (and try your hand at it as well…it’s a lot of fun!)
3. “Helpers” are raffle items that are donated to the festival. The proceeds are used to offset the festival expenses. Festivals are put on by your fellow Sasha enthusiasts and not a company or professionals.  Therefore, the helper money is given by the previous year’s hostess as “seed” money for the next festival. Do you have a cute outfit, accessory, etc. for Sasha, Gregor or baby that they don’t wear or need anymore or can you make something for the dolls?  Consider donating it as a “helper.” Plan to bring money for helper tickets because you are going to see something you want.
There are also usually one, two, or even three raffle dolls with complete wardrobes that are donated by groups as well.  These items have their own special raffle tickets so be sure to put the correct color of tickets in the correct box.
4. Craft Projects:  Usually the festival committee develops a fun and easy craft project for everyone to do.  Take the opportunity to run around and see what everyone else is doing with theirs!  You will get lots of ideas.  **Please limit yourself to one kit only so everyone will have one to work on. If there are extras, that will be announced and you will be free to take another at that time.
5. Sales Room:  If you didn’t get your heart’s desire during the CFA, don’t fear; the sales room has something for everyone!  It is a great opportunity to buy anything and everything Sasha…including a new Sasha!  Some participants are dealers, some are sewers and knitters selling their wares, and others are just “rotating” their collections!  From $1 to $1000s, you will find anything you could imagine for your dolls.  It generally runs 3 hours and you will need all of that time to see everything!  Get there when it opens as things sell FAST!  If you have items to sell, consider renting a table or sharing one with someone else (see your registration form). Sellers prefer cash (bring small bills) but most will accept personal checks.  Nobody to date has had the ability to accept credit cards, but a few can now take Paypal on their iPads.
6. Small details:
    A. Bring a camera!  You will want lots of pictures so you can relive the festival at home and admire all the creative doll outfits and pictures of your new friends!
    B.  There is usually an evening meal provided that everyone tends to get a bit more dressed up for (including your “kid!”).  Otherwise, dress tends to be casual and comfortable.   **Bring some type of sweater or jacket since the meeting rooms are often chilly.
Your first Sasha Festival can be a wonderful time.  We are a friendly bunch, so introduce yourself to everyone you see.  It is great to be able to put names to faces especially if you are on one of the Sasha Yahoo groups or the Facebook pages.  
One warning though, the festival is very addicting!  Once you’ve attended one, you will want to attend them every year!   If you have any questions, just ask: no question is silly--we were all first timers once too.