Festival Closing

SUNDAY, OCT 1 @ 3PM - A meditative reflection of what home means to you. Join us in person or find peace in your own comfortable and cozy place.

Sunday, Oct 1 - 3-3:30pm
Centennial Park
Outside The Ice House

This event is FREE to attend. Donations are welcome!

Thank you for your interest (and/or for scanning your star)! We are excited to have you be a part of our Festival closing, even if you cannot physically be with us.

Help us close out this year’s Festival UnBound with a nice introspective and ritualistic experience. Say farewell to the friends you’ve made along the way (both human and otherwise), reflect back on the wonderful experiences you’ve had these past five days, and join in as we look toward our own futures as well as the future of the Lehigh Valley.


VENUE: Centennial Park, the flower garden directly outside The Ice House – 56 River St, Bethlehem, PA 18018

RUN TIME: 30 minutes

PARKING: Free parking is available immediately adjacent to the Ice House, with additional metered parking in the Lehigh Street Lot across from the Wooden Match (61 W. Lehigh Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018).

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION: Touchstone strives to create an environment where all members of our community, of all abilities, feel welcome. Please contact (610) 867-1689 or via email at touchstone@touchstone.org to request accessibility accommodations in advance.


Now is the time to use the orange star you received at one of our other Festival Unbound events. If you do not have one, that is absolutely fine. Take a moment to look around your space and find a totem that you are drawn to. This could be a candle, a leaf, a stick, a flower, a plant, a piece of paper, something that you can hold in your hand. Find a space inside or outside. Somewhere where you can find peace and give yourself a moment to reflect in stillness and relative quiet. Feel free to read the ritual created below aloud or silently to yourself. NOTE: at the end you will need something that makes a noise. This could be a bell, a windchime, a doorbell, tapping a pan with a spatula, take a moment to find something you might use and have it nearby. You may also follow the instructions, at the end, to create a tone with your own voice.

Welcome to the final moments of this year’s Festival UnBound. These past five days have been filled with art, theatre, music and dance focused on the place where we call home, we even made a few out of this world friends. Happy news, The Headeye have returned safely to their Galaxy and send a warm greeting you can see on our social media and website. Even more exciting news, they ll be BACK in February to take over the Touchstone stage in Headeye the Musical. I promised to take a photo to send back to them holding our stars. (For those at home feel free to take a photo/selfie and share it online tagging us so we can be sure it gets all the way to Tralfamadore.) Thanks everyone. They will LOVE that!

Now, let us focus our energy back here to our earthly home. We gather ourselves in the space we are in right now to reflect on our journey. Some experiences were shared with others, while some experiences were just for us. Before entering into this space where you stand right now, you received a totem. A paper star or you have found an object you are drawn to. We plan to charge this object with our energy.

A star is a symbol of hope, positivity, happiness and renewal. A shining star to light the way back home. This star, created by local artist Cherly Baker, has 8 points around the outside and 4 points in the center on either side. Let us focus our energy on these 4 points in the center. They will serve as a metaphor for a compass. One point represents the East: Air, breath and inspiration. One point represents the South: Fire, transformation and action. One point represents the West: Water, feeling and reflection. And the last point represents the North: Earth, balance and wisdom.

The Ritual of the Festival Closing begins:

Hold the star in your hands. You may hold it by the edges with your fingers, in your palms, with the string around your finger. However you would like. And let us begin the ritual of these closing ceremonies for Festival UnBound.

Take a moment to settle your mind. Let us take three breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Lower your shoulders away from your ears. Another. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Give yourself the space to let go of thoughts as they come into your mind. Finally, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Settle into this feeling.

Use your senses. As we move through these senses reserve all judgment, give all things space to be, including yourself.

Listen to your surroundings.

Smell the air and those esters that surround you

Feel the movement of the air on your skin

Look around you and acknowledge what you see, it is there & so are you.

Let us take one more breath in together and when we let our breath out, release it with a sound.

Whatever sound that comes out is right.

While we use this star we are holding and these cardinal directions as a compass for our closing ceremonies today, consider what comes to your mind in each direction.

  • We begin by turning our hearts to the East, toward the rising sun. Air and breath give us life. It is the direction of inspiration the word that means to take in air. The east is associated with the mind, with knowledge and learning and intellectual curiosity. Imagine the birds, turning and wheeling in the air, imagine the breeze blowing through your hair. Turning toward the east, we look for a fresh start, an invigorating breath, a new idea.
  • Take a moment to reflect on these thoughts. What from your festival experience comes to mind? Consider it silently.

[East: Air, breath and inspiration]

~ Take a breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth. Rest. ~

  • Our next movement will be to direct our hearts to the south. The element of the south is fire. Fire is a transformative force, it is heat and light and powerful change. Migration patterns head south, looking for warmer weather. This direction calls us to action and metaphorically can shake us of our internal winter.
  • Take a moment to reflect on these thoughts and what you ve experienced during the festival events. Consider it silently.

[South: Fire, transformation and action.]

~ Take a breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth. Rest. ~

  • Continuing on, we arrive to the west. The element of water. We are drawn into the experience of our emotions. It is a direction that calls us to self-reflection and self-understanding. Our emotions move in us like water, flowing through our lives, sometimes calm and sometimes turbulent, but always flowing. The tides rise and fall evershifting and shaping our surroundings. Sometimes slowly and sometimes with rapid force.
  • Take a moment to reflect on these thoughts and what you ve experienced during these festival events. Consider it silently

[West: Water, feeling and reflection]

~ Take a breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth. Rest. ~

  • We move now to the North. The element of the North is earth. The north represents the place that holds us, that allows us time and space to heal and grow, to feel nurtured and respected. It is also the place of embodiment, of connecting with our physical self, with the concrete, tangible world around us. The north calls to you if you are seeking balance, a place of rest and recovery. Home.
  • Take a moment to reflect on these thoughts and what you ve experienced during these festival events. Consider it silently

[North: Earth, balance and wisdom.]

~ Take a breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth. Rest. ~

To complete our festival closing ritual. Turn your heart toward the direction that calls to you today. The element that speaks to you and your reflection on the past events of Festival Unbound you attended. What spoke to you? What speaks to you right now? Connect to that. I want to ask if you would make a promise to yourself. A promise that you will take with you when you leave here today. Perhaps it is the act of consideration for your neighbors or neighborhood. Maybe it is to say yes to engaging more with your community more. Or it could even be as simple as to find out more about where you live. There is no wrong answer. When I ring the bowl, we will enter into two minutes of silent meditation. Please take this time to focus. Think about what YOU can do in your day to day life to build a better home between now and the next Festival UnBound. Focus your energy and charge your star with the energy of this promise.

FOR THOSE AT HOME: Take a deep breath and when you exhale let it out and say the word home aloud, holding the hmm at the end for a few moments. You should feel as though you are saying om . Repeat this three times. Holding the om sound for as long as you comfortably can. Take your time. It is ok if this is a slow process. Finally give yourself two minutes of silent meditation.

After two minutes of silence:

This brings us to the close of our Festival UnBound. Please take this star home and place it where you find PEACE and enjoyment in your home. When you see it, remember our time together and the promise you have made. On behalf of Touchstone Theatre and our Partners I want to thank you for being here. Thank you for your patronage to the arts. And thank you for being a member of this community. May the feeling of HOME remain with you while you continue on your journey of enjoying the space you are in.

[Image description: Two figures stand, they’re backs to the camera. They are looking off into the distance at the sun setting behind a far away hill. The hold each other close, his hand on her shoulder, her hand on his waist. Around them are other people, fuzzy, out of focus, and the painted stone ground on which they stand.]